The wheels are in motion as Manchester United look to strengthen their squad in the summer transfer window. Erik ten Hag has now been in charge for a full week, with less than a month to go before the club meet for the start of pre-season training.
In an ideal world, United will have a new signing to brag about before that June 27 start date, but if they are on international duty, it may not be until July that they travel to Carrington. to meet their new teammates.
United have made the decision not to make any transfers until they have finalized a deal for Ten Hag to become their next manager, meaning they now have over a month to get to work on their shortlists and gauge which targets might actually want to move this summer. .
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Signing at least one new midfielder has been identified as the ‘biggest’ challenge for United this season, but they also want to sign a striker with a preference for another, to compensate for the exodus of players to the club. attacking spirit who are out of contract next month. .
Juan Mata, Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Edinson Cavani appear to have last played for United. Anthony Martial is available for transfer and Mason Greenwood is not available for selection.
United inquired about signing Dane Scarlett earlier in the year and had initial questions about Lyon striker Moussa Dembele in March. Ajax striker Antony has been linked with United after playing under Ten Hag for two years, and Darwin Nunez is another wanted by the club.
But perhaps the most interesting person on the list is Christopher Nkunku.
Ralf Rangnick has recommended the RB Leipzig star to United, and they have a legitimate interest in signing him, although the Bundesliga club have no interest in letting him go this summer.
Nkunku, 24, has shone in Germany this season with 35 goals and 22 assists, being named Bundesliga Player of the Season after an incredible campaign in which he was also named the league’s Player of the Month four times.
There’s no denying the France international’s obvious quality, but this season’s struggles for Jadon Sancho certainly cast doubt on whether or not he can replicate such an impact in the Premier League.
Fans will no doubt cite examples of players who have adapted well from league to league, but it’s worth noting that in recent years other strikers like Sancho, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner have all had trouble despite their brilliance in Germany. first class.
Likewise, Shinji Kagawa and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have both struggled to find their feet at Old Trafford despite their success with Dortmund, two more examples of the difficulties that can arise when moving to a new domestic league.
Leroy Sane and Son Heung-min are two stars who have taken the Premier League by storm after completing their moves, and Erling Haaland could well be added to the list if his transfer to Man City is successful this summer.
However, on the whole they represent exceptions rather than expectations of what a Bundesliga player tends to do in the Premier League, and there is a right to be cautious about Nkunku despite his staggering numbers this season.
If United can afford to take a risk, then the RB Leipzig star would be a worthwhile acquisition this summer, but with so many positions to strengthen and a limited budget to do so, it may well be too big a risk to take.
Being one of the best players in the Bundesliga counts for little when you face the scrutiny of playing for United.
Ask Jadon Sancho.
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