Manchester United: Shock midfielder U-turn; offer for Griezmann; striker leaves on loan
There is a late change of mind for Jose Mourinho as he has performed a U-turn on the future of Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini, claim the Daily Star. The 28-year-old was one of those, alongside the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger, who had been earmarked as someone who could be sold to fund other transfers. Former manager David Moyes was said to be interested in taking him to Sunderland, but reports now say that he will sign a two year contract extension at Old Trafford.
This comes after Fellaini has not missed a minute of Mourinho’s three competitive fixtures to date, playing a key role in central midfield. Mourinho believes that he can develop the former Everton man into a similar style player as Nemanja Matic at Chelsea, who is reliable in a holding role but can also present a threat on the counter attack. It’s believed that Fellaini will play alongside new addition Paul Pogba, with Fellaini’s discipline allowing Pogba more freedom to express himself and move freely around the pitch.
Pogba is arguably the biggest signing of the summer transfer window to date, but Metro report that United could nearly have had another, as Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann confirmed that he has received offers from elsewhere this summer, with one of those believed to be from the Red Devils. The 25-year-old is believed to be valued at least £70 million, with the Spanish club claiming they would reject any offers without negotiations.
Having scored 32 goals last season, it is clear to see why United would be interested in signing the Frenchman, who shone for his country this summer as they fell to defeat to Portugal in the final of Euro 2016. That said, it is hard to see how Griezmann would fit into the current United set up. With Anthony Martial, Wayne Rooney, Marcus Rashford and Zlatan Ibrahimovic all competing for places and being shoehorned into a starting eleven by Jose Mourinho, it seems unlikely that Griezmann would be a welcome addition without a high profile departure.
One man who has been forced out by the competition for places up front is 20-year-old youth academy product James Wilson, as BBC Sport report that he has joined Derby County on a season long loan. Having spent last season on loan at Brighton & Hove Albion for the latter half of the season, Wilson will now gain invaluable experience and first team football under Nigel Pearson in the Championship.
There would clearly be very few opportunities for Wilson to get minutes at Old Trafford this season as he sits way down the pecking order, but a move will give him the opportunity to prove himself, and even if he does not do enough to impress Jose Mourinho, he is likely to persuade some Premier League or Championship managers to sit up and take notice, with a permanent move seeming likely in the near future for the prospect.
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