Manchester United fans are patiently awaiting the club’s second signing of the summer with less than a week remaining in the transfer window.
The £40million capture of Donny van de Beek from Ajax remains United’s only addition so far despite interest in Borussia Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho and Porto defender Alex Telles.
MEN Sport understands United are holding various discussions in an attempt to secure more signings before the October 5 transfer deadline.
In addition to the new arrivals, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes to offload more fringe players after Alexis Sanchez secured a permanent exit earlier in the window.
United supporters have made no secret of their displeasure at the club’s business so far. MEN Sport takes a look at the arrivals and departures that could save United’s transfer window. Warning: this one has a fantasy football feel about it.
In – Jadon Sancho
There is no player that United fans want to see at Old Trafford more than Sancho. The 20-year-old enjoyed the finest season of his career last term, proving he is on the path to becoming a world-class attacking option – if he’s not already there. Solskjaer has utilised Mason Greenwood in the right wing role and while he has impressed in recent months, he is more suited to the number No.9 role.
Adding Sancho to United’s front line would not only relieve the pressure on the shoulders of Greenwood, it would allow Solskjaer to carefully manage his development. The United boss already expressed his concern over Greenwood’s workload after he was selected by Gareth Southgate for the senior England squad. If United fail to secure a deal for Sancho, they must move for an alternative.
In – Alex Telles
United accepted the need for a new left-back following their Premier League defeat to Crystal Palace. Sergio Reguilon was under consideration prior to his switch to Tottenham but a buy-back clause was something a club of United’s stature were never going to accept. Thus United have turned their attention to Porto defender Telles.
The Brazilian may not fit the age profile Solskjaer is looking to bring to Old Trafford but a deal makes sense for a number of reasons. Firstly, his recent form suggests he would be a significant upgrade on Luke Shaw in terms of attacking output while his contract situation means United can secure his signature for a fraction of his worth. United are currently in talks to make this one happen.
In – Dayot Upamecano
While Solskjaer stressed that United have more than enough quality centre-backs, it’s becoming clear that reinforcements are needed if United are to challenge for the title again. Another poor defensive display in the narrow victory against Brighton proved that United need to follow Liverpool’s example in investing in world-class talent at the back.
Dayot Upamecano may be the ideal partner for Harry Maguire. The Frenchman has pace to provide cover when necessary but also excels on the ball, displaying an excellent range of passing. The 21-year-old only recently penned a new contract and United have pretty much resigned themselves to waiting until next year to sign a new centre-back, so realistically this one will have to wait until 2021.
Out – Chris Smalling
Smalling is one of two players that are training in their own bubble at United’s Carrington training complex amid transfer interest from Serie A side Roma. The former England international impressed on his season-loan long in Italy last year and Paulo Fonseca is eager to sign him permanently.
Solskjaer last week revealed United are yet to receive an acceptable offer for the 30-year-old. Offloading Smalling would not only downsize an overstocked area of the squad but can provide United with funds to sign a top class defender.
Out – Marcos Rojo
Rojo is the other player who is training away from the first-team squad amid uncertainty over his future. The Argentine joined Estudiantes in January but made just one appearance before returning to Manchester.
Solskjaer hinted in July that he would not be reintegrated with the main group. The 30-year-old can be released by United next year but his departure would be welcome before Monday’s international deadline.
Out – Phil Jones
Jones hasn’t featured for United since January and was not named in the squad that travelled to Germany for August’s Europa League finals due to injury. He is likely to depart if United receive an reasonable offer from an interested party but United have conceded offers are unlikely as a result of his fitness.
Managing to offload Jones would be a massive success given he has no future at the club. His departure would also free up funds from the club’s wage bill that can go towards new signings.
Out – Sergio Romero
With Dean Henderson returning to the club on the back of an impressive loan spell with Sheffield United, Romero is no longer needed at the club, despite his excellent performances when called upon. The 33-year-old deserves to be playing regular first-team football as he’s proven more than capable at the top level.
Aston Villa paid £20million to sign Arsenal second-choice goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez earlier in the window suggesting United could generate some decent transfer funds by offloading Romero. Leeds and Everton have both been mentioned as possible suitors.