Sun. Sep 27th, 2020

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Exclusive: Man United working on up to three more signings in transfer window

3 min read

Manchester United are still working on up to three more signings before the transfer window closes in four weeks.

Jadon Sancho remains United’s priority target but the MEN understands the club is also open to signing a left-back, a centre-back and a centre forward.

United are monitoring Real Madrid left-back Sergio Reguilon and have also been impressed by Vitaliy Mykolenko of Dynamo Kiev. Both players are contracted to their clubs until 2023.

The left-back position is not believed to be a priority but Reguilon, 23, impressed in Sevilla’s Europa League semi-final win over United and has been tracked by the club’s recruitment department. Mykolenko, 21, has been capped eight times by the Ukraine and is a first-teamer for Kiev.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer accepts the central defensive area requires improvement but United have not been as active in looking to bolster that department in the current window and accept plans to recruit a defender might have to be parked until next year.

United have been nonplussed by some of the back-up striker options as they prepare to offset the departure of Odion Ighalo, due to return to parent club Shanghai Shenhua in the New Year.

United have been on the lookout for a permanent striking addition since Romelu Lukaku was sold to Inter Milan 13 months ago. United showed interest in Lyon forward Moussa Dembele and Joshua King at Bournemouth but were rejected by Erling Haaland.

Negotiations are still ongoing over what would be a club-record move for Sancho but United are considering alternatives with their first game of the new season next week.

David Brooks, 23, has been under consideration by United for upwards of a year but was deemed too expensive last summer as Bournemouth valued him at £50million. United eventually bought Daniel James from Swansea for £15m.

United are considering a one-year stop-gap in a similar way to how Bayern Munich conducted the signing Leroy Sane in the event they fail to reach a breakthrough for Sancho. A loan deal for the Juventus winger Douglas Costa, 29, was mentioned and Ivan Perisic, a major target for Jose Mourinho in the 2017 window, was floated as an option but the 31-year-old is expected to permanently join Bayern.

Inter Milan, still Perisic’s parent club, demanded £50m for the Croat three years ago after United had a £42m offer rejected and Ed Woodward planned on a cut-price deadline day move that Mourinho took a dim view of. United officials felt Perisic was not ‘marketable’ enough to warrant a £50m fee and he has since gone onto play in World Cup and Champions League finals, scoring in the former and winning the latter.

Bayern agreed season-long loans for Perisic and Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona after they failed to buy Sane last year and went on to win the treble for the second time in the last eight years. Bayern eventually signed Sane for £54.8m deal in June.

United have to trim their defensive department before they can seriously plan for the arrival of another centre-back, with Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo all free to leave.

Dayot Upamecano was recommended to United when he was a teenager and the 21-year-old signed a new contract with RB Leipzig last month. Upamecano, 21, has a reputed release clause of £37million that is active next summer and made his France debut last week.

The MEN revealed last October United wanted to make four signings over the winter and summer windows, with a full-back, a midfielder, a forward and a striker earmarked. United bought playmaker Bruno Fernandes in January for a fee rising to £68m and midfielder Donny van de Beek arrived from Ajax last week for deal that could be worth £39m.

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