Manchester United transfer news: Paul Pogba, Ezequiel Garay, Jose Fonte, Fabinho, Leonardo Bonucci latest
Barely a day has gone by in recent weeks without some small yet (apparently) significant development being made, usually on Instagram.
According to Sky Sports, Pogba is “preparing to fly” to Manchester, having holidayed in the United States for the last few weeks, though it is unlikely he’s currently browsing through a duty-free section and enjoying a pre-plane pint.
On his unveiling as United’s new manager, Jose Mourinho promised one more ‘fundamental’ signing (i.e. Pogba) and potentially a few other supplementary additions.
The Portuguese is known to want more options at centre-back and his compatriot, the Southampton defender Jose Fonte, could be just the man he needs.
Fonte’s former boss Ronald Koeman is also interested, however. Everton have tabled a £9million bid for the 32-year-old, according to the Daily Record.
Manchester United’s best XI with Paul Pogba
David De Gea
Has been Manchester United’s best player for the last four or five seasons and, after having a move to Real Madrid collapse last summer he is now more important than ever. He saved United repeatedly under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal and will hope under Jose Mourinho that there is less to do.
A good player whose first season at Old Trafford was badly affected by injuries, Darmian should improve next year under the guidance of Mourinho. He has played for a similarly prescriptive coach for Italy in Antonio Conte and will provide exactly what Mourinho wants in the role.
One of United’s most improved players under Louis van Gaal, he established a leadership and consistency that he had lacked before. Now he is near the peak of his powers and gives Mourinho someone to build around at the back.
The first of Mourinho’s summer signings, the £30million man from Villarreal has looked good in pre-season already. Will need to adjust to the speed of the Premier League but looks well equipped to do that and form a strong pairing with Smalling.
Had his last season ruined by a broken leg against PSV Eindhoven and without him United lacked pace and width down the left. Mourinho will like his competitive attitude and Shaw will surely feature in Sam Allardyce’s England squads soon enough.
Mourinho teams always have a midfield anchor, what he calls a ‘number 6’, and there is no-one better suited to the job at United now than Schneiderlin. Did not play as much as he should have done last year but that should change now.
The big issue for Mourinho will be where to fit in the £100million man. There will be times when he plays alongside Schneiderlin in a 4-2-3-1, when United can afford to attack more, and others where he is pushed further up with two midfielders behind him. Finding the perfect platform will be Mourinho’s hardest task.
Not the highest profile summer signing at Old Trafford but a technical wizard who excelled in his three seasons at Borussia Dortmund, which is why Arsenal wanted him too. Likelier to be on the right of a 4-2-3-1, where he will provide creativity and intelligence.
Mourinho said very clearly that Rooney will not play in midfield this season for United, so he will have to partner with Zlatan Ibrahimovic up front. Rooney will likely start as a second striker or number 10, but has a job to prove that he is still sharp enough for the job.
Never looked weighed down by his fee last season and showed pace, class and natural calm in front of goal. Likely to continue on the left this season where he will provide pace on the break, as long as he does the defending Mourinho demands too.
One final challenge for the big Swede who has won the league everywhere else he has played. Still has incredible strength and skill, even if he will be one of the slower strikers at the top this year. Just needs to find a way to be a focal point for his team-mates.
The Record’s story also claims that Monaco will reject all advances for Fabinho, the Brazil full-back, if they reach the next Champions League qualifying round.
The Ligue 1 side face Fenerbahce at the Stade Louis II on Wednesday, having lost 2-1 in the last week’s first leg.
Ezequiel Garay is another option for Mourinho, as The Sunday Times reported.
The Zenit St Petersburg defender has been linked with Old Trafford in the past and would be a cheaper option than Leonardo Bonucci.
A move for the Juventus centre-back would probably be a costly one, around £60m. United know too well that they drive a hard bargain in Turin.
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