Monday 26 August 2019

Sadio Mane move to Manchester United could be back on in January

Southampton's Sadio Mane
Southampton's Sadio Mane

Louis van Gaal's admission on Sunday that he needs to add some pace to his stuttering frontline has sent the rumour mill into overdrive.

If you're a wide player or forward, and you can sprint, then you've probably been linked with United in the past 24 hours.

Firstly, a reminder of what the United manager said about his team's need for speed: "I have said already in my first year many times we need speed and creativity on the wings.

"You have seen that now we play with Jesse Lingard and he is not the most speedy winger in the world and Mata is also not the most speedy winger in the world.

"So we must first finish that problem and then we can see how we have to play and how we are in balance with playing with speedy wingers."

First up to be rumoured to be moving to Old Trafford is Southampton winger Saido Mane, according to reports in The Mail.

United sounded Saints out about the Senegalese forward in the summer but baulked at what they believed to be an extortionate transfer fee, in excess of £20m.

As the Daily Telegraph reported last month, Southampton now value the player at between £35-£40m, which may partly reflect United's willingness to spend £57m on the relatively unproven Anthony Martial in September.

The Mail also reports that Riyad Mahrez is another wideman interesting Van Gaal.

Mahrez has been in excellent form for Leicester this season, scoring seven goals and providing five assists in 11 Premier League matches, and Claudio Ranieri has a job on his hands to keep the Algerian at the King Power Stadium.

The Telegraph meanwhile reports that Newcastle forward Ayoze Perez could emerge as a January target for United.

Perez is also being watched by the likes of Tottenham and Arsenal, but United are thought to be keenest on the 22-year-old, and according to the article have been monitoring his progress since he joined Newcastle from Tenerife last year.

The Spaniard would jump at the chance to join United, but Newcastle would do all they can to keep one of their most prized assets.

Another alternative being mentioned today is Lazio's attacking midfielder Felipe Anderson.

According to ESPN, United scouts have been in Rome to watch the 22-year-old Brazilian, and could make a move for the player in January.

There are also still rumours about Gareth Bale swapping the Bernabeu for Old Trafford next summer, with The Star towing that particular line.

The Welshman is reportedly still United's main target, but Bale remains unwilling to leave Madrid.

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