Manchester United: Midfielder chose Chelsea; next big signing identified; Barcelona wanted Pogba
Manchester United had a very successful summer transfer window, signing four top quality players in areas where the team was looking rather weak in a bid to convert them back into title contenders.
However, it has been revealed today in the Sun that the club did not secure all of their top targets. Jose Mourinho reportedly telephoned N’Golo Kante in order to persuade the French midfielder to move to Old Trafford, but the Leicester City man had already been blown away by Antonio Conte’s new project at Chelsea.
The news will come as a blow to Manchester United fans, as their midfield is still lacking a world class partner to allow Paul Pogba the freedom to express himself. Marouane Fellaini is currently sitting next to Pogba in the starting eleven, and playing reasonably well, but the energy Kante provides defensively transformed Leicester last season and has done the same for Chelsea this. Having someone like Kante in the middle of midfield would have made Manchester United a very frightening prospect indeed.
Although the club may be disappointed that they missed out on Kante, they have already reportedly targeted their next big name signing for next summer. The name in question? Kante’s international teammate and star of the Euros, Antoine Griezmann.
Griezmann who scored seven goals in the Euros for Les Bleus this summer, has emerged as one of the premier attacking talents in Europe since joining Atletico Madrid from Real Sociedad, and Jose Mourinho thinks that the forward will push for a move to England next summer.
If Griezmann does make a beeline for the Premier League, Mourinho believes that he has the capabilities to attract him to Old Trafford, and sees the Frenchman as an ideal replacement for Wayne Rooney.
The 25-year-old Frenchman is a versatile forward, like Rooney, and has the ability to play anywhere across the attack. This could be a very exciting prospect for United in a years time; an attacking midfield three of Antoine Griezmann, Antony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan would be almost impossible to deal with. All three offer something different, but are remarkably flexible and would float around the pitch freely, causing havoc behind opposition defenders.
Signing Griezmann would be a very, very exciting deal for United fans.
Finally, it has been revealed that Paul Pogba very nearly didn’t move to Old Trafford this summer, after a deal was made in 2015 between Barcelona and Juventus that the Catalan giants would have first pick on the midfielder if he were to leave the Old Lady.
Pogba joined United for a world record fee this summer after a long a protracted transfer saga, but the whole deal was apparently at the mercy of Barcelona.
Thankfully for fans of the Red Devils, Barcelona opted to sign Portugal winger Andre Gomes from Valencia, leaving the door open for Mourinho to swoop in.
Although it would have been interesting to see, it is harder to imagine Pogba thriving in a Barcelona side as he would at Manchester United. Although the club plays very differently under Luis Enrique to how it did under Pep Guardiola, several powerful midfielders, most notably Yaya Toure, have failed to establish themselves at Barcelona thanks to the emphasis on passing and the lack of focus on physicality. Pogba probably suits Mourinho’s United better.
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