Reports emerging from Manchester last night seem to be suggesting that German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger could be set to lead an exodus as Jose Mourinho makes room and gets funds in order to complete the Paul Pogba deal. The Daily Mail claim that Schweinsteiger will be the biggest name to leave, despite still being away on his honeymoon, alongside Mateo Darmian, Marcos Rojo, Juan Mata, Memphis Depay and Ashley Young.
Jose Mourinho is said to have informed the players in question that they will not be regulars in his side in the coming season, and they are all looking for new clubs. For Mata, who Mourinho exiled from Chelsea, it is no surprise, and it is not a shock to see Young linked with a move away too. However, Memphis was a big money purchase last summer who has so far disappointed, and despite struggling for form and fitness last season, PSG are said to be following Bastian Schweinsteiger’s situation.
Although not quite as clear as the speculation regarding Schweinsteiger, there are causes for concern in the case of forward Anthony Martial. The young French forward was said to be upset that the club had given his number 9 shirt to Zlatan Ibrahimovic without informing him, and had unfollowed the club’s official accounts on Twitter and Instagram, according to Metro. Whilst far from conclusive, it has put doubts in some fans’ minds, and concerns have grown.
With increasing competition up front, Martial will now find it harder to earn first team football, and it seems less likely that Martial will fit into a Jose Mourinho system than the system previously used under Louis Van Gaal. Given Mourinho’s preference for stronger, bigger forwards, it seems that Martial may be used more sparingly or forced out wide, whilst Ibrahimovic takes priority. Whether or not Martial will be content with that treatment remains to be seen.
However, it seems that the club may already have a substitute lined up as the Sun claim that the Red Devils are set to beat many of Europe’s biggest clubs to the signature of Brazilian starlet Gabriel Jesus. The 19 year old Plameiras striker has scored 15 goals in 19 games so far this year, and is said to be available for £20 million for United.
Dubbed the “new Neymar” by Brazilian media, the skilful forward can play out wide as well as centrally, preferring to drift towards the left. With 8 goals in 10 caps at youth level for his country, he is highly rated by all. All that remains to be seen is if United can secure his signature, as they have reportedly offered the best financial package, and when he will arrive at Old Trafford, whether it be this summer or if he will be loaned back to Palmeiras for a short period to aid his development.
A less successful deal was the one for James Rodriguez, with the IB Times claiming that the Colombian turned down an offer in order to stay at Real Madrid and fight for his place, and that the offer was most likely from the red half of Manchester. With a reported fee of £71 million offered, according to Marca, the bid was a substantial one.
Despite this, the playmaker has decided to stay at the club who signed him after the 2014 World Cup. The player shares an agent with the Red Devils boss, Jorge Mendes, and there were said to have been discussions over a potential move for Rodriguez towards the end of last month.
United have also heard back from West Ham in their pursuit of young English defender or midfielder Reece Oxford, with the Hammers demanding at least £18 million to sell their starlet, according to the Daily Mail.
The east London club are open to offers, as the club and player are a long way apart on wages and bonuses in a new deal which has been in discussions for months. Whilst Oxford feels that he deserves wages to match his valuation, the club feel that at just 19 and with only 12 first team appearances to his name, he should be on low wages. Earlier reports claimed that Ed Woodward and co. were considering an offer in the region of £15 million, so £18 million may be a realistic fee which can find the best outcome for all parties.
On the topic of promising youngsters, it seems that the club’s patience with Adnan Januzaj is running out. Now aged 21, the Guardian claim that Jose Mourinho is looking to shift the Polish youngster after he has lost the symbolic number 11 shirt which was given to him after Ryan Giggs’ retirement.
After an unremarkable, and unsuccessful, loan spell at Borussia Dortmund last season, coaches at Old Trafford have no questions over the players talent, but his attitude is believed to be holding him back from developing into a player deserving of his full potential, and Mourinho is happy to allow him to leave, either permanently or on loan.
There could also be moves for young striker duo Will Keane and James Wilson. Wilson; who did not go on tour with the club, still has a future at the club long term, but Swansea, Hull and West Brom are said to have expressed an interest in taking him on loan, according to Sky Sports. At 20, Wilson needs to make an impression if he is to force his way into the Old Trafford first team in the coming years, and after doing well at Brighton last season, who are keen to take him back, a Premier League move would provide a real test for him.
On the other hand, Will Keane is set for a permanent move in the hunt for first team football. Former Man. Utd. boss David Moyes is said to be keen a reunion with Keane, already considering a £6.5 million move just hours into his reign as Sunderland boss, with Stoke also monitoring the striker’s availability, according to Goal. At 23, a move seems the best option for Keane in his attempts to reignite his career.
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