First up on Friday’s Manchester United round-up, surprise surprise, we are talking about Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Following earlier reports that the 34-year-old striker would be given permission to leave the Sweden Euro 2016 camp to complete a move to Old Trafford before the Euros, the move now appears to be on hold until after the summer tournament.
This comes after Sweden’s head coach, Emrik Hamren, said “it would not be okay” for him to fly to England and complete the deal. “Players have their leisure time on the schedule, what they do then there’s nothing I can do to control. But it would not be okay for Zlatan to fly to Manchester,” he told a press conference at Sweden’s base in Nantes.
The Old Trafford faithful will receive the opportunity to see Zlatan in action during Sweden’s first Euro 2016 Group E game on Monday, when they take on the Republic of Ireland. At 25/1 (Sky Bet), the 34-year-old is regarded as an outside favourite to scoop the tournament Golden Boot award – an achievement that would surely fill United fans with excitement.
Meanwhile, according to The Sun, Manchester United full-back Matteo Darmian is being used as makeweight in a deal to try and take Juventus star Paul Pogba back to Old Trafford. Reports suggest the The Old Lady have enquired about the availability of the 26-year-old and Mourinho is ready to off-load him in return for Pogba’s signature.
Darmian arrived in England with an impressive reputation following his £12 million move from Torino. However, he has largely failed to live up to fans’ lofty projections. The 26-year-old clearly needed a season to settle in the English game, and the expectation is he will show a much improved level of performance under Mourinho next term.
While Pogba would be an excellent signing for the Red Devils, the Old Trafford faithful would undoubtedly prefer a transaction that doesn’t see Darmian head out of the exit door. The Frenchman’s return would make the club strong contenders for the Premier League title next season, but the deal being suggested here would give Mourinho a lack of options at right-back.
In other news, Manchester United have made enquiries about Borussia Dortmund attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, report the Daily Mail. Allegedly, Thomas Tuchel’s side are willing to let the Armenian leave as he is refusing to sign a new contract and they are willing to sell for £25million.
With an impressive 15 assists last season, Mkhitaryan emerged as the Bundesliga’s most creative asset. Based on WhoScored.com‘s performance rating system, he was only the highest-rated player in the German top flight.
Averaging 2.7 key passes per appearance – more than any Manchester United player during the same period – and a further 2.6 shots at goal, it is clear to see what he would bring to Old Trafford.
Capable of playing on the left or right flank, as well as a more advanced role in the centre of the park, his versatility undoubtedly makes him a very tempting purchase for Jose Mourinho in his first season as Red Devils boss.
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