It may always have been likely given the circumstances, but the Mirror dealt a blow to the confidence of Manchester United fans as they reported that the Red Devils have given up on Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier with Spurs boss Daniel Levy refusing to even consider selling the England international.
However, those hopes and beliefs of a potential title challenge under Jose Mourinho were immediately revived when Italian source Tuttomercatoweb broke the news that Manchester United are interested in Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti and could make a summer move for the Italian.
At present, it seems as though United’s interest is little more than having tracked the 24-year-old and made an initial enquiry into his availability.
It does seem strange that United would move for Verratti given the other targets they have been linked with in the middle of the park this summer. Whilst it is clear that Manchester United are on the look out for a central midfielder, the typical profile has been that of Dier or Nemanj Matic; tough tackling midfielders who will break up play and look to start moves on the counter-attack.
Whilst Verratti is capable of producing such a display, he typically has more of an attacking edge to his game akin to Paul Pogba. With superb vision and a wide range of passing, Verratti does not venture quite as far forward but instead prefers to sit deeper and dictate play from the middle of the park.
As such, it seems unlikely that Manchester United would be looking to pursue a player who so clearly does not match with the profile that they are believed to be in the market for. Given how expensive and difficult a deal for Verratti may be, it would surely be off the table before it even got close to being considered.
That said, Manchester United continue to be linked with huge names from across Europe this summer and are clearly planning to make a statement that they are back at the top of the game as they return to the Champions League. It seems unlikely, though, that such a statement would come through signing Marco Verratti.
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