Friday 30 September 2016

Eight players linked with a move to Manchester United this summer

Mark Critchley

Published 12/07/2016 | 07:57

Aaron Ramsey (right) has been linked with a move to Manchester United
Aaron Ramsey (right) has been linked with a move to Manchester United

Jose Mourinho has wasted little time since his appointment as Manchester United’s new manager at the end of last season.

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The Portuguese walked through the doors at Carrington with four ‘fundamental’ positions to strengthen and has since overseen the completion of three major signings.

Eric Bailly, the Ivory Coast defender, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Swedish striker, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the Armenia attacking midfielder, have all arrived for a sum total of £56.3million.

Paul Pogba is thought to be Mourinho’s fourth target, though United may have to stump up a world-record £100million fee to prise him from Juventus.

Whether United are successful in their pursuit remains to be seen, yet the spending may not stop there.

As well as these ‘fundamental’ buys, Mourinho has said himself that he wishes to make other ‘supplementary’ additions, with an experienced central defender thought to be a priority.

"There is a fundamental market and there is a supplementary market," he said on his first official day of work as United's manager.

Paul Pogba, Juventus

Despite letting him go on Alex Ferguson’s watch in 2012, United are desperate to land Juventus star Paul Pogba. It may yet take a world record fee of £100m to lure the 23-year-old away from Turin, however, but Jose Mourinho has made his intentions to sign world-class players known this summer.

The Portuguese will hope Pogba can replicate the sort of form which has helped him scored 23 goals in 124 appearances in Serie A.

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Blaise Matuidi, Paris Saint-Germain

There have been conflicting reports over United's interest in Matuidi. Initially, it was thought he was a back-up option should United fail in their attempt to sign Pogba, though some have since suggested that Mourinho is keen on bringing both players to the club.

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Hirving Lozano, Pachuca

Young Pachuca forward Hirving Lozano might not sell a mass of shirts immediately, if indeed he does sign, the 20-year-old is considered one of the most exciting talents in world football. Nicknamed ‘Chunky’, Lozano is capped seven times for Mexico despite his tender age, having scored 21 goals in 91 senior appearances for Pachuca.

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Alvaro Morata, Real Madrid

Having signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic in June, United remain on the lookout for cover in attacking positions with a move for Alvaro Morata seeming likely.

The Spaniard was in fine form for his country at Euro 2016 this summer before it was announced that Real Madrid had utilised a buy-back clause in his Juventus contract. That isn’t the end of matters, though, with the Spanish giants planning to sell Morata on immediately for profit.

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James Rodriguez, Real Madrid

After seeing little game time under Zinedine Zidane at Madrid, another name to be thrown into the Old Traffor mix is that of James Rodriguez. The Columbian superstar was even relegated to the La Liga B side on occasions as he fell quite spectacularly down the pecking order in the Spanish capital.

While Paris Saint-Germain remains his most likely destination, with reports suggesting a fee has been agreed, don’t rule out a late counter offer from United.

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N'Golo Kante, Leicester City

It seems everyone has been linked with Leicester City’s midfield maestro N’Golo Kante this summer. The Frenchman made a name for himself during the Foxes’ remarkable march to the Premier League title in 2016 following a low-key £5.6m transfer from Caen the previous summer.

Kante is both combative and industrious, refusing to let up until possession is won back. While the champions may be keen to keep their little midfield star, the presence of a release clause in his contract at the King Power Stadium means a move away remains entirely possible.

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Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal

In a surprise rumour, Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey was linked with a switch to the North West. The 25-year-old has been in scintillating form for Wales at Euro 2016 this summer but it remains to be seen if the Gunners would be willing to entertain an approach from one of their main titles for the Premier League throne.

Ramsey is reportedly frustrated at the levels of competition in the centre at the Emirates but it is unlikely United would be able to offer a firmer guarantee of first-team football.

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Will Hughes, Derby County

Many thought Hughes may have missed his chance to make a big-money move away from the iPro Stadium when he rejected the chance to sign for Liverpool last summer. The young Englishman remains one of the most promising players outside the top flight despite being unable to inspire Derby to promotion from the Championship.

The East Midlands outfit are likely to demand an inflated transfer fee for their midfield wizard too but United have shown in the past that money is usually no object.

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