Manchester United could have the perfect schedule for their dream midfield signing - Richard Fay

Manchester United could have the perfect schedule for their dream midfield signing – Richard Fay

The key to a successful transfer strategy is planning. Manchester United often start anticipating the next window as soon as it closes, compiling a long list of potential targets in their bespoke database system.

In summers when United have planned well, they do their business early and efficiently. Last year they added Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane to their squad after a long chase and allowed a break in their approach to make an impromptu move for Cristiano Ronaldo.

During summers when United have planned poorly, they do their business in a mad rush. A year ago, they signed four players on deadline day in the form of Edinson Cavani, Alex Telles, Amad and Facundo Pellistri, none of whom were truly successful.

READ MORE: Steve McClaren has already made his feelings clear about Manchester United’s underachievement

This summer the scrutiny will be even tougher with the start of the Erik ten Hag regime, and the club are keen to prove they have changed for the better by bringing him in as soon as possible so transfer planning can be expedited. .

Earlier this week, United’s manager-in-waiting met with club officials in Amsterdam for a recruitment meeting, where he was joined by Mitchell Van der Gaag and Steve McClaren, two men set to join his full-back squad. shop at Old Trafford.

At the top of their agenda will undoubtedly be midfield options, with club sources previously admitting this is their ‘biggest problem’ ahead of the summer window.

The exit of Paul Pogba, coupled with the unexpected departure of Nemanja Matic, has only further amplified the need for at least one new midfielder, with preference going to two, one who is a defensive specialist and one another that can help them control the matches better.

United are considering a possible deal for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong and Ten Hag have reportedly contacted the player’s agent, Ali Dursun, to assess whether De Jong would be receptive to joining his project.

The club have also been working on a move for Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips away from De Jong. Leeds were hoping to keep the 26-year-old for another year but they are now favorites to be relegated with just two games left.

With the summer budget expected to be heavily influenced by player sales, it is still difficult to plan a precise action plan for the first weeks of the summer, but whatever happens, it is clear that the signing of a defensive midfield specialist should be the priority.

The prospect of a Ten Hag and De Jong reunion has many fans excited, and while he’s a great addition, he’s still not the type of midfielder United need most.

Worst-case scenario United could find themselves with just one new midfielder this summer, along with the return of Donny van de Beek and James Garner, and if that were to be the case they would have to make amends to the year instead. next. .

However, it could work to their advantage in the long run.

While De Jong would be a statement signing this summer, an even clearer statement of intent would come if they were able to lure teenage sensation Jude Bellingham to the club.

United have already tried to sign the 18-year-old before his move to Germany, but rejected an offer two years ago as they saw a much clearer plan for progression in the Bundesliga.

It has certainly paid off, with Bellingham shining in the Champions League for his new side and establishing himself as a regular England international.

It’s sometimes easy to take for granted just how good Bellingham is for his age, and he remains one of the most exciting midfielders in world football, perhaps only rivaled by Pedri at Barcelona and Eduardo Camavinga at Real Madrid. at his post.

The teenage talent this week revealed he has no intention of leaving Dortmund for at least a year, with the Bundesliga club unlikely to part ways with him and Erling Haaland in the same window anyway.

Jude Bellingham has been linked with Manchester United for some time.

“The only future I can think of is Dortmund’s next game,” he told Ruhr Nachrichten BVB. “I’m looking forward to next season. I can’t wait for it to finally start. But yes, I’ll be there next season and I’ll be ready.”

However, that doesn’t mean he won’t be available in a year’s time when United may still be on the hunt for a midfielder who can help them better control games.

As such, United may still have a chance of finally luring Bellingham to Old Trafford, with the timetable for their own long-term rebuilding potentially intersecting ideally with the teenager’s own career plans.

The challenge is to make sure they have a project worth joining a year from now.


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