Manchester United announced it to the world last year that they are going in a rebuild by giving Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a long term contract. Solskjaer from the get-go has wanted the best in class at the club. Given the club’s exigencies, Ole has had himself and Ed Woodward backed into some tight corners regarding opposition clubs asking for astronomical transfer fees for the players they have wanted to bring in and a similar case is being observed in this transfer window this time it is in the form of Jack Grealish from Aston Villa.
According to the Mirror, Villa’s obstinate co-owner Nassef Sawiris will not let Grealish leave Villa Park for a fee below £80m. Being in a post COVID world where revenues have been cut down within an inch of its life, Manchester United may have to pursue other midfield options this summer if Aston Villa’s demands for Jack Grealish are to be believed. It would be very hard for anyone to see United going through this deal as they are reportedly in a hunt for a left-footed centre back as well along with peak priority transfer target Jadon Sancho. A backup midfielder f costing 80 million just doesn’t make sense in today’s market and getting Grealish would not only force Solskjaer to compromise on his other signings but will also set a precedent of the club being bullied into a deal which other clubs can exploit in the future.
Hence Manchester United are already turning to other midfield options which fall into the same class as Grealish in terms of quality and might even end up being better than the talismanic Englishman.
They happen to be Donny Van de Beek of AFC Ajax and Thiago Alcantra, the present Liverpool target of Bayern Munich.
Donny Van de Beek
Versatile Ajax star Donny Van de Beek rose to prominence with a starring role in his side’s sensational run to the Champions League semi-finals last season.
Van de Beek, 23, is a hugely talented midfielder who is proficient in both boxes. He scored eight goals and laid on five assists in the Eredivisie this term before the curtailment of the campaign due to coronavirus.
The Express suggest United could sign Van de Beek for just £49m this summer. Ajax have been pretty coy and reluctant to let go of their star players this season any more than they have( case in point being Hakim Ziyech to Chelsea ). But with Van de Beek reportedly having put in a transfer request back in February and United legend Edwin Van der Sar sitting in the hot seat for footballing operations of Ajax, this deal continues to have potential as Van der Sar can help to broker a deal between the two clubs given the right incentives. This could represent an astute piece of business.
Ranked amongst the most reliable transfer market journalists in the world, Tier 1 BILD reporter Christian Falk has claimed Bayern are open to the idea of selling 29-year-old Thiago this summer for just €30m. Liverpool has reportedly shown their interest in the player but as of now, there are no bids on the table from Liverpool. Despite the fact Thiago might have passed his prime and has had some injury concerns, he remains one of the outstanding midfield players across Europe and he would be a fantastic addition to Solskjaer’s squad at an extremely affordable price.
Thiago could play in the deep-lying playmaker role alongside Nemanja Matic or thrive higher up the pitch in a more creative role with Bruno Fernandes.
It might be a difficult task to convince Thiago altogether to snub Merseyside and come to Manchester instead as he doesn’t have an ample amount of years left with him that would hold the capacity of him being able to play week in week out consistently and hence might opt to choose Liverpool Fc for instant success instead of Solskjaer’s rebuilding plan.
Nevertheless, he surely has to be considered this summer for the quality he would bring in attacking transition.
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