Although Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United revolution is likely to cost more than £100 million, TheHardTackle looks at five players the Red Devils could sign for that amount.
After the appointment of Jose Mourinho as their new manager, Manchester United fans can expect significant changes to the Red Devils’ squad. The team struggled last season under the guidance of Louis van Gaal with a seemingly unattractive brand of football. Man United ended up with their lowest points tally and lowest goal-scoring tally in the premier league era.
We analyze and ponder upon the possible transfers that can strengthen the squad with a budget of £100million.
Miralem Pjanic – £30 million (AS Roma)
First position that Manchester United will look to strengthen is the heart of midfield. An aging Carrick, an ailing Schweinsteiger and a seemingly off-color Morgan Schneiderlin exposed the Mancunian club several times in key games. With the possibility of the Roma board willing to accept an offer in the range of £30million, Mourinho would love to grab the opportunity with both hands.
According to a report in Marca, Barcelona has also shown interest in the 26-year-old, but face stiff competition from Man United who are willing to offer a greater amount. Pjanic’s through-balls and passing ability helped him shine last season. He has featured for Roma 41 times in the previous campaign and scored 12 goals, besides racking up an impressive 13 assists.
Eric Bailly – £15million plus add-ons (Villarreal)
After having employed a make-shift centre-back in Daley Blind all season, Manchester United will look to fortify their defence with a proper ball-winning, agile and strong centre-back. Taking nothing away from Daley Blind who has done an exceptional job at something which isn’t his strength, to win trophies and to compete in Europe requires a more conventional defender.
According to a report in the Guardian, Manchester United are increasingly likely to sign Ivorian Eric Bailly from Villarreal after having agreed to pay £15million plus add-ons, which could increase the overall transfer amount in the future to £30million. Bailly played a crucial role in helping Ivory Coast win the African Cup of Nations having played all 6 matches in the tournament.
Andre Gomes – £35 million (Valencia)
Another midfielder that has been extensively linked with Manchester United this summer is Andre Gomes. United had missed out on getting his signature last year. According to the Daily Star, Man United have made a £35 million bid for the Portuguese midfielder that could activate his release clause. Jose Mourinho has apparently shown interest in strengthening the United midfield to make up for the deficiencies he feels were evident last season.
The 22-year-old Portuguese is a rising young star who is highly rated by scouts all across Europe and has garnered interest from clubs like Juventus and Barcelona. Mourinho had reportedly watched Andre Gomes play for his country against England in a friendly last week. Having appeared 31 times for his club last season, Gomes managed to find the net 5 times and assist 4 times. It remains to be seen if Manchester United can secure the services of the 22-year-old.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – PSG (Free Transfer)
One of the most intriguing and fascinating transfer stories this window has been the potential reunion of Jose Mourinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The 34-year-old, whose contract at PSG has expired, is looking for a new challenge. Many fans from around the world have wished to see the charismatic and larger-than-life Swede play in the Premier League. Their wish may finally come true with Jose Mourinho showing clear intent that he would want Zlatan to help bolster up Man United’s striking options.
Clearly, this possible transfer for Manchester United isn’t one which they intend to make as part of a long-term strategy. Many pundits see this move as a stop-gap signing and a chance for the Manchester United young sensation Marcus Rashford to develop into a complete striker under the guidance of Mourinho and Ibrahimovic.
Rafa Silva – £15.8 million (Braga)
Manchester United have reportedly shown a keen interest in signing Rafa Silva from Braga. The left-winger has had an impressive season, having appeared 46 times for the club in the season gone by, and scored an impressive 12 goals. The pacy 23-year-old will be a very good addition to the Man United offence as they would love to have a sharp edge back in their game, enabling them to attack swiftly on the counter with pace and acceleration.
Rafa Silva is believed to have a £15.8 million release clause in his contract which can be activated by potential buyers. However, according to a report in Daily Star, Manchester United will face tough competition from Liverpool as they are willing to add a significant amount of bonuses in the deal to lure the Portuguese to Merseyside.