Manchester United’s Summer Wishlist

Over the past few months, we have had numerous reports linking Manchester United to players of different positions and profiles. While acting to a very definite degree on any particular target has been understandably complicated due to the uncertainty around the managerial situation, it looks like United have come to a conclusion on the areas of the pitch they would like to ideally consolidate.

CENTRE-FORWARD PRIORITY

According to Laurie Whitwell of The Athletic, a centre-forward is something United will look to prioritise adding over the course of the summer. Harry Kane is mentioned as the top target for the position – unsurprisingly, given the long-term interest the club have held in the player.

The report goes on to mention how former United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward had informed Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy of United’s interest in the player last summer as well, although there was an acceptance on his part that a move would not be feasible for the club until 2022.

It is further explained that United will look to pursue Kane as a top target for the position irrespective of any managerial appointment, but it may very well cost them a fee over £100m to prise him away from Spurs.

Another interesting aspect talked about was that Portuguese agent Jorge Mendes, who has a good working relationship with Levy and Spurs sporting director Fabio Paratici, has been approaching centre-forwards over Europe with respect to a move to Spurs in the event Kane moves to United over the course of the summer.

While it is only natural that United would try to sign Harry Kane, any potential deal would not be a very easy proposition – a number of difficulties could potentially arise, be it United missing out on the Champions League (which is a huge part of Kane’s ambitions), or a deal being made difficult and protracted by the presence of a tough negotiator on the other side in the form of Daniel Levy. In this context, it’s only natural to have backup options – and the report goes on to mention Darwin Núñez as one of them.

United have previously been linked to the Benfica striker as well, most notably by the reliable Matteo Moretto. Along with crediting United’s interest in the player, he mentioned Benfica’s quoted price for the player as €75m (around £63m). While that seems high at face value, it would be fair to assume that any potential deal could be feasible for around a £50m guaranteed fee along with add-ons – making him a much more cost-effective option as compared to Kane. The situation around the position will obviously develop with time and will be interesting to keep an eye on.

TWO MIDFIELDERS WANTED

While there has been a consensus among reporters that midfield is definitely an area United will look to reinforce as a priority in the upcoming summer window, Laurie Whitwell in his piece for The Athletic went on to mention that United would ideally like to sign two midfielders – one defensive, and the other being more offensive minded.

While Declan Rice is an obvious United midfield target, any deal seems to be very complicated by a number of factors despite United and Rice being interested in a deal to varying degrees. While Rice is interested in a move to United, it has been stated he would also want to find out the level of interest his boyhood club Chelsea would have in a move for him. Add to that the reported £150m price tag, and it looks like a difficult hill to climb, especially with United targetting a number of positions to reinforce in and also chasing the likes of Harry Kane.

Talking about a more offensive minded midfielder, Laurie Whitwell again mentioned a few days ago that Ryan Gravenberch of Ajax is a player who interests United. While the player prefers a move to Bayern Munich who also want him, a deal there is far from done yet and the situation could be worth keeping an eye on.

Youri Tielemans of Leicester City is another player worth keeping an eye on while talking about players of that category, United have had an interest in the player since 2019 and it’s safe to assume that still exists. HLN, who are a reliable source for Belgian players, mentioned that United are one of the teams interested in the player – but a potential approach would depend on the managerial appointment, which would make sense. Reliable journalist Santi Aouna of Foot Mercato also mentioned United as one of the teams interested in the player, and Manchester City were said to be very interested too. Everything indicates a price range of €40-50m could make things interesting regarding a sale on Leicester’s part given the player will have only a year left on his contract come the summer.

RIGHT-SIDED WINGER

And we are here again. According to the same report by Laurie Whitwell, another position of the squad United would ideally like to strengthen is right-wing. While this has been something very commonly discussed among supporters, no reliable journalist had definitely stated it as a position United would be looking to reinforce over the summer. We have also not heard a bunch of names related to the same – Moussa Diaby of Bayer Leverkusen is one, though.

United have been mentioned among a number of clubs interested in the player by the reliable Patrick Berger of Sport1. It would also be plausible to keep an eye on the situation of Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembélé, who will be a free agent come the summer window – given United’s long term interest in the player.

NEW CONTRACTS FOR SHAW AND RASHFORD

After agreeing verbal terms over a new contract with Bruno Fernandes, the United hierarchy are keen to open talks over a new deal with Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw, according to Rob Dawson of ESPN. Both players have their current deal running up to 2023, with the option of a further year.

The report goes on to mention that alongside Bruno, United view Rashford and Shaw as a key group of the core players they would like to retain at United – which is resulting in the fact that United are keen to get on with contract negotiations with the duo irrespective of uncertainty around a new managerial appointment. The report adds that Rashford will not rush into a decision over his future, but is keen to win his place back at United. Also, Jamie Jackson of the Guardian had stated a few days ago that Luke Shaw would be open to signing a new deal at the club.

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