INEOS and Sir Jim Ratcliffe are definitely looking towards the summer as they lock and load for a recruitment drive to improve fortunes on the pitch. But a slap dash approach this is not.
According to ESPN, the Red Devils will adopt a policy in the summer of eyeing players entering the final 12 months of their deals, due to finances remaining tight as the club bids to remain within the Premier League‘s profit and sustainability rules.
United will have money to spend but smarter recruitment is going to be essential in helping transform Ten Hag’s side back into title contenders and there are not a shortage of elite stars heading towards their final 12 months in deals.
Here, Mail Sport takes a closer look at four players reportedly on United’s wishlist…
Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich (left) and Alphonso Davies (right) are entering their final year
Man United are set to target players with one-year left of their deals under Sir Jim Ratcliffe
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This would be a real headline grabber.
Kimmich has long been seen as one of Europe’s premium midfielders and before Harry Kane pitched up at the Allianz Arena a case could have been made that the diminutive German midfielder was their most important player.
The issue United, and in fact any of his suitors, will have is that should he actually leave Bayern, the list of clubs in a race to get him will be very, very long.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is an admirer, while Liverpool and Tottenham would both jump at the chance to pick up the eight-time Bundesliga champion.
What he would add immediately to United is a championship-winning DNA and also the air of leadership that, aside from Bruno Fernandes and Harry Maguire, is few and far between in the current dressing room.
Kimmich, 28, has been a revelation at Bayern since joining from RB Leipzig in 2015.
He has made more than 200 appearances in the Bundesliga, winning eight league titles, while also lifting the Champions League in 2020.
Kimmich (middle) would inject a championship-winning DNA if he ends up leaving Bayern
Three German Cups, six German Super Cups and a FIFA Club World Cup also on the resume showcase just how much winning Kimmich has done in Bavaria. That would be invaluable at a club like United that has lost its way in recent years.
It’s not a golden ticket, naturally, as proven with Raphael Varane and Casemiro, but these sorts of players don’t offer come to market and when they do they need convincing.
The fact Kimmich’s contract has not been sorted and extended is puzzling to say the least – not that interested clubs will care one iota.
Described by Bayern chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as ‘the embodiment of world class’ in 2021, United would be landing a gem to place at the base of their midfield should they be able to land Kimmich.
Imagine a prospect of having Kimmich in a midfield to help get the best out of Mainoo and Bruno Fernandes? Suddenly, United’s squad looks capable of competing on all fronts again.
If no deal is signed then Bayern will be fighting a losing battle trying to try and get market value for him. One to watch as his contract negotiations will be closely monitored from Manchester to Munich.
Bring on The Roadrunner.
Davies’ frightening pace was laid bare to United earlier in this campaign when he enjoyed plenty of joy down the left in that frantic 4-3 win at the Allianz Arena.
On his day, Davies is world class in his position and should he decide to take his talents away from Bavaria, expect the phone to be ringing off the hook.
Luke Shaw is a very good asset for United at left back and there is no doubting that United look much improved when he is in the line-up, especially when Lisandro Martinez is alongside him.
But, much like Kimmich, Davies is one of the world’s best in his position and it would be foolish to pass up the chance to get him in.
Alphonso Davies (right) is world class in his position, and Real Madrid are long-time admirers
At only 23 years old – five years Shaw’s junior – Davies still has years to go at the top level. The biggest issue could well be convincing him that United is the best situation for him to swap Bayern Munich for.
With five Bundesliga titles and a Champions League win to his name since breaking through in Bavaria at the age of 18, the Canadian brings that championship-winning DNA that Kimmich has by the bucketload.
A regular starter for Bayern, it remains to be seen if a contract extension can be thrashed out between now and the end of the season.
If one fails to materialise and Davies enters the summer with 12 months left on his current contract, United should certainly make a pitch.
ESPN report that Spanish giants Real Madrid, who are pushing to land Kylian Mbappe to their star-studded side this summer, are the Canadian’s No 1 option.
A striker is imperative in the summer – and David would fit the mould of what United require.
While there has been talk of a veteran striker to lift some of the pressure off Rasmus Hojlund, who just turned 21, he has started to show he’s rising to the occasion of being the main man.
That said, should United be able to entice a player of David’s quality to Old Trafford on an expiring deal, it would be a total no brainer.
Anthony Martial’s contract is expiring; Marcus Rashford prefers playing wide left; youngsters like Joe Hugill are nowhere near ready to make the step up; Erik ten Hag is woefully short should anything happen to Hojlund.
David headed to Lille in 2020 with the unenviable task of replacing Victor Osimhen and he not only took that on, he went on to become one of the best strikers in France alongside Kylian Mbappe.
United need a scorer this summer and getting Jonathan David below his value would be a steal
He is the right age bracket to complement the likes of Rasmus Hojlund (left), Alejandro Garnacho (middle) and Kobbie Mainoo (right)
With 13 goals and six assists in 28 appearances for Lille this season, David will still likely cause a frenzy of interest, and United should try to be front and centre for the 24-year-old Canadian.
He was actually quizzed on rumours of United’s interest at the 2022 World Cup.
‘I am aware of nothing,’ he told Goal. ‘When I am at the World Cup I am just focused on trying to enjoy the World Cup and enjoying the moment. What happens after I do not know, we will have to see.
‘The Premier League is the best league in the world and I think every player would want to play there some day.’
Lille will be loathe to lose him for nothing and so the summer could be the ideal time to land a rising star on the – relative – cheap.
At 22 years old, Thuram is an excellent age profile for this new-look United that already has plenty of pieces for the future.
Thuram was heavily linked with Liverpool last summer, before the Reds went after Wataru Endo, Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai and Ryan Gravenberch.
That should not be viewed as a knock on Thuram, who has the potential to be one of the elite ball-carrying midfielders in European football.
Son of the great Lillian Thuram, Khephren has been open in that he is studying the likes of Yaya Toure and Kevin De Bruyne in a bid to improve and fine-tune his all round game.
Speaking to the Telegraph last year, he said: ‘What do I want to achieve? For me the most important thing is to be the best version of myself. As a man, as a football player.
Khephren Thuram is the right age profile for United as they look towards a youth revolution
‘I don’t know exactly where that is going to take me but I want to be the best version of myself. If that is to play somewhere my whole life then fine. If it is to play at one of the top clubs then I want to achieve that.’
Midfield is a curious position for United following the emergence of Mainoo and the stuttering start to life at Old Trafford for £60m Mason Mount.
Mount, another to have been picked up in the final year of his deal when he joined from Chelsea, has been riddled with injury and Mainoo is still finding whether he is to settle as a No 6 or a No 8.
But Thuram could conceivably come in as a younger and fresher replacement for Christian Erisken, who himself is entering the final year of his contract.
Thuram would add more zip than the Dane in terms of breaking the lines and while he has had injury problems with Nice this season, that will do little to detract from his body of work of more than 150 appearances for the French side.
A future United midfield that includes both Mainoo and Thuram is a potential scary prospect.
Source From: Football | Mail Online
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