It has been a case of much ado about nothing so far for Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho, as he looks to reshape his squad into one he feels can close the gap on his Premier League rivals and mount a serious assault on the Champions League.
Here, FantasySports.co.uk looks at what could happen next at Old Trafford, as the start of the new Premier League season draws ever closer.
- IVAN PERISIC WILL JOIN – EVENTUALLY
The Perisic from Inter Milan to Manchester United deal has been about the longest running saga of the summer, but every indication points to it happening. Inter have gone from distancing themselves from the deal, to negotiating on the price, to stating they are happy for it to happen but only in exchange for Anthony Martial plus cash.
Neither Martial nor the Red Devils are particularly wanting that to happen, so it seems more talks are inevitable – but we do expect this deal to be eventually thrashed out and Perisic to line up in a red shirt come the first Premier League game of the season.
- DAVID DE GEA WILL STAY AT UNITED
Although Real Madrid are long time suitors of the United goalkeeper, the time doesn’t feel right for a switch to the Bernabeu. De Gea is in the form of his life, has more than won over the United faithful, and is being offered enough, both in terms of honours and cash, to stay put at United – where whilst he will never likely achieve the legendary status of Peter Schmeichel or Edwin van der Saar, he will leave enough of an imprint to be classed as a United great.
Should United fail to win, or come close, to Premier League titles or Champions League glory, we can see De Gea returning to Spain, and Real Madrid, in a few seasons time. But Madrid simply don’t have the finances to prise De Gea away at the moment, so will have to wait in the shadows and hope he comes to them, rather than they get him.
- FRINGE PLAYERS TO BE SOLD
While Jose Mourinho wants depth and options to his United squad, he cannot keep everyone happy, especially with several exciting youngsters already knocking on the door of the first team and looking to follow in the footsteps of Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard – most notably Axel Tuanzebe and Timothy Fosu-Mensah. So we expect to see a couple of the ‘older guard’ to be sold.
Ashley Young is a prime candidate, and has already been linked with a move away from Old Trafford, with Stoke City making their interest known. Chris Smalling is another one, with United now loaded at the CB position – he has been linked with the likes of West Ham, West Bromwich Albion and others. Luke Shaw will also come under the microscope if he does not start the season well, and whilst he is expected to remain at the club for now, he could well be sold in the January transfer window should his form, and fitness, not be of the standard Mourinho expects.
- ONE MORE BIG SIGNING TO ARRIVE….BUT WHO?
United are almost automatically linked with any and every major player who it seems becomes available…current rumours indicate that United are looking at triggering the release clause of Neymar, but should the Brazilian move from the Nou Camp he will almost certainly to go to Paris St Germain. They are also looking to hijack the Tottenham move for Everton’s Ross Barkley, which is much more feasible than the Neymar story, but would Everton really sell another one of their home grown stars to United?
One story that is certainly gathering pace, and one that we feel makes a lot more sense to all concerned, is the transfer of PSG midfielder Marco Verrati to United. Verrati would slot nicely into the United midfield corps, and has even appointed Mino Raiola as his agent – the same agent who brokered the deals to United for Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. We feel this could be the player who becomes Mourinho’s next big signing, and potentially close the transfer window at Old Trafford……until January.