Manchester United transfer news is always intriguing, and it’ll be doubly so this summer as manager Erik ten Hag prepares for his second season at Old Trafford.
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The Red Devils have Champions League football to offer once again after finishing 3rd in the Premier League this season, now they must start to chip away at the 14-point gap between themselves and three-time defending champions (and noisy neighbors) Manchester City.
Last summer, Man United brought in Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia, Casemiro, and Christian Eriksen and bolstered their squad further in January with loanees Marcel Sabitzer and Wout Weghorst.
So what’s next?
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Below we round up the latest done deals, reports, and rumors and give our analysis on Manchester United transfer news as Joe Prince-Wright (JPW), Nicholas Mendola (NM) and Andy Edwards (AE) will guide you through a hectic month.
Manchester United expiring contracts, June 30
- David de Gea (38 PL appearances)
- Marcel Sabitzer (end of loan – 11 appearances)
- Wout Weghorst (end of loan – 17 appearances)
- Phil Jones (0 appearances)
- Jack Butland (end of loan – 0 PL appearances)
- Tom Heaton (0 PL appearances)
Manchester United transfer needs, summer 2023
- Striker – A goal-scoring, line-leading star man to permanently move Marcus Rashford to the left wing/underneath.
- Midfielder(s) – A more attacking box-to-box player than Fred/Donny van de Beek; an upgrade of Casemiro’s backup/someone who can play alongside him (currently Scott McTominay).
- Goalkeeper(s) – Maybe as many as three, if David de Gea doesn’t sign a new contract.
Manchester United archived transfer news today, live!
June 6 – Who’s at the top of the center back wish list?
While Raphael Varane has been great, Lisandro Martinez impressive, and Victor Lindelof reborn, there’s still desire for strengthening the center back corps at Old Trafford.
Rumors Tuesday said Harry Maguire could be out the door and that Tottenham Hotspur has interest under new coach Ange Postecoglou, but who would might be coming to Man United?
Napoli’s Kim Min-Jae has a $50 million release clause and was absolutely monstrous for the Neapolitans in their huge scudetto-winning season. The 26-year-old is a brilliant passer and an absolute force in the air.
But hold on: L’Equipe says that United’s center back priority is versatile World Cup winner Benjamin Pavard. The Bayern Munich star can also play right back and has elite metrics in pretty much every statistical area.
Who would you rather have, Man Utd fans? (NM)
June 4 – Diogo Costa links continue
United is moving to sort out its goalkeeper situation and its months-long links with Portuguese star Diogo Costa are resurfacing.
A Bola says that Costa, 23, will leave Porto following Sunday’s cup final against Braga, and that Man United is joined by Chelsea and Newcastle in pursuit of the backstop.
But Erik ten Hag’s bunch is leading the way for his signature and the Red Devils could have a new No. 1. Currently, United boasts David De Gea, Jack Butland, and Tom Heaton, plus Dean Henderson is returning from loan.
All but Henderson are out of contract at the end of the season. Butland is not expected to be back and Henderson will want someone’s No. 1 shirt. De Gea? Who knows. This could be the time for Costa. (NM)
June 2 – Talks ongoing for young forwards
According to The Athletic, Manchester United have been in ‘detailed talks’ over the signing of Randal Kolo Muani and Rasmus Hojlund. The young forward duo are both being chased by the Red Devils as Erik ten Hag wants to add one of them and a more experienced striker. Per the report, John Murtaugh has spoken to both Eintracht Frankfurt and Atalanta multiple times about Kolo Muani and Hojlund respectively and United are hoping to move on with chasing summer targets despite uncertainty surrounding their ownership status as the Glazer Family continue to explore the option of a full or partial sale of the Premier League giants. Kolo Muani and Hojlund both fit the mould for the type of player Erik ten Hag wants and if United can land one of them and somehow pull off an unlikely move for Harry Kane (unlikely due to Daniel Levy’s unwillingness to do business) then it will be a heck of a summer for the Red Devils. (JPW)
June 1 – United move to front of queue for Mason Mount
A report from ESPN says that Manchester United have moved to the front of the queue when it comes to signing Mason Mount this summer. Mount, 24, has just one year left on his contract at Chelsea and is expected to move on this summer. Mount has been linked with moves to United and Liverpool but the report says that Mount is keen on heading to United although the Red Devils have some reservations over the $75 million transfer fee Chelsea are asking for. Per the report, clubs are waiting for later in the summer to try and buy Mount as they known Chelsea will have to move players on due to the enormous squad Mauricio Pochettino has inherited and will have to trim. Does Mount to United make sense? It does. He can slot in anywhere in Erik ten Hag’s midfield and is the perfect kind of player to add depth to their squad and be a great 12th man or step in when key midfielders are injured or need a rest. His time at Chelsea is clearly coming to an end and even though Mount has struggled this season at Chelsea, his quality is proven in the Premier League in recent years and on the international stage with England. (JPW)
May 25 – Harry Kane, Declan Rice, Mason Mount are summer targets
A report from our partners in the UK at Sky Sports says that Manchester United are trying to sign a trio of England internationals: Harry Kane, Mason Mount and Declan Rice.
“Manchester United will try to sign Harry Kane, Declan Rice and Mason Mount this summer. Their No. 1 target is Kane. He is the player Erik ten Hag wants most. It is unlikely they will sign all three players and everything depends on what happens with the takeover. Kane, Rice and Mount are exactly the kind of characters Ten Hag wants in his dressing room.”
It is clear Kane will be the top target for United as Erik ten Hag has spoken about signing a new striker and that is their main transfer need. It is tough to see Tottenham selling Kane to a direct top four rival in Manchester United for anything less than $130 million, even with Kane’s contract winding down. That said, do you take that money this summer and use it to rebuild? Or let him go for free in the summer of 2024?
Next up, Declan Rice will surely be their next main target, as all three of these players have just one year left on their contract. Rice, 24, is just the type of player United need alongside Casemiro in central midfield and the England international has become one of the best two-way central midfielders in Europe under the age of 25. Rice’s close friend is Mason Mount and the latter clearly doesn’t want to sign a new contract at Chelsea, so he could be the cheaper option of the three. All of this hinges on Manchester United’s takeover but if, as expected, they qualify for the Champions League, then signing two of these three players would be a huge upgrade on their current options and gives them quality, depth and experience in midfield and attack. First choice would be Kane and Rice but Kane and Mount would still be pretty decent. (JPW)
May 20 – Rasmus Hojlund to Manchester United?
A report from The Times says that Manchester United are looking to sign Denmark and Atalanta forward Rasmus Hojlund. The 20-year-old has scored seven goals in 29 games for Atalanta and the report says he could be available for $50 million this summer. Hojlund’s style of play slots in with what United want from their forwards and his speed, technical ability and height will give them a different options in attack.
Per the report, Manchester United will still focus on signing Harry Kane this summer but they also want Hojlund to arrive to give Erik ten Hag extra attacking options. Scoring goals has been an issue for United this season as they’re the second-lowest goalscorer in the top 10.
May 15 – Man United looking back into Adrien Rabiot
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before…
L’Equipe says Manchester United is ready to pursue Adrien Rabiot of Juventus a season after missing out on the French midfielder last summer.
Rabiot, 28, has eight goals and three assists this season and his advanced metrics are very good in ball progression, aerials, and defending.
Erik ten Hag will certainly be looking to upgrade his midfield depth alongside 31-year-old Casemiro. Might Rabiot be a good fit? (NM)
April 24 – More buzz on Harry Kane to Manchester United
Tottenham’s 6-1 loss to Newcastle at the weekend put a serious crimp in the club’s top-four plans and Manchester United may seem the time as right to strike in its striker search.
United’s been linked with Harry Kane for a while and Kane has to be questioning is future with Cristian Stellini the latest Tottenham coach to be fired by Daniel Levy, and that move coming amid reports that former boss Mauricio Pochettino is the front-runner for the Chelsea job.
(command-c, command-v) Kane, 29, is heading into the final year of his Tottenham contract and is being mentioned as a target for Bayern Munich and others. United would make sense here, too, as a new center forward is top of their list. (NM)
April 9 – Man Utd become front-runner for long-time Ten Hag target Frimpong
Netherlands youth international Jeremie Frimpong could hop back to Manchester for a different color jersey than his youth days.
Frimpong, 22, came up through the ranks at Manchester City and exploded onto the scene with a move to Celtic in 2019.
The youngster impressed in 1.5 seasons in Glasgow, winning a Premiership, Scottish Cup, and League Cup treble before moving to Bayer Leverkusen midway through the 2020-21 season.
He’s on fire this season, with eight goals and six assists from the wide places. His ball progression numbers are outlandish in nearly 2.5 seasons with the Bundesliga outfit, and Ten Hag is said to have wanted to bring him to Old Trafford last summer, too. (NM)
March 28 – Goncalo Ramos emerges as top target for summer
Benfica and Portugal forward Goncalo Ramos has emerged as a top target for Manchester United this summer. According to a report from Record in Portugal, United want to sign Ramos as they need a new man to lead their attack. Per the report, Ramos has a release clause of $130 million in his contract. Given that Manchester United would have to pay a similar fee for Harry Kane and a deal for Kane would prove very difficult given Spurs’ reluctance to sell to a Premier League rivals, perhaps a move for Ramos, 21, is more attainable?
It would slot in with their philosophy of buying young emerging talents such as Jadon Sancho and Antony in recent windows and Ramos’ style of play would suit Erik ten Hag and United well. With injury issues to Anthony Martial throughout this season and Wout Weghorst expected to return to Burnley when his loan ends this summer, only Marcus Rashford is around to lead the charge up top. Even he is better starting out on the left so signing a new striker is a priority for ETH this summer and Ramos is experienced enough at a very young age, but also on the way up with plenty of room for improvement, to suggest he would be the perfect long-term option. (JPW)
March 27 – Manu Kone price tag starts at $53M plus add-ons
Kouadio “Manu” Kone is being linked with a move to Manchester United as the Red Devils look to invigorate their midfield with a player who won’t turn 22 until May.
Kone debuted for Toulouse as a teenager and came into his own once the club was relegated to Ligue 2 for the 2020-21 season.
His performances there got him a move to Borussia Monchengladbach, where the central midfielder has become a regular contributor as an aggressive dribbler and tackler.
Fabrizio Romano says Man United will face competition from Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea when it comes to the France U-21 star’s signature. (NM)
March 23 – Red Devils to beat Chelsea to Watford teenage starlet
Watford left back Harry Amass is on the fast track to Hornets success, but instead may choose life in Manchester United’s academy over first team time at age 16 (?!).
Amass is an England U-15 and U-16 call-up who has made the bench for Watford against Reading in a January FA Cup match.
The London Evening Standard says that Amass believed a Champions League regular would be a better spot for his growth, and that Manchester United is expected to win his signature over Chelsea. (NM)
March 15 – Manchester United linked with $145 million bid for Eintracht forward
Regarding our latest update, Manchester United being linked with nine-figure strikers may become rather common until it solves its center forward challenges.
Bild, via Sky Sports, says that United will offer around $145 million for Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani, The 24-year-old forward scored his first senior goal for France when he added Les Bleus’ second goal of a 2-0 win over Morocco. He has five caps.
Kolo Muani’s star has risen dramatically over the past three seasons. He joined Nantes at age 17 and took a Championnat National loan before scoring nine Ligue 1 goals and eight assists two seasons again and bagging 12 goals in his second season.
Kolo Muani then signed for Eintracht Frankfurt and his first season in Germany has been exceptional. He has 16 goals and 14 assists across all competitions and Eintracht made it to the Champions League Round of 16 (where it seems destined to dip out following Wednesday’s second leg at Napoli, where it’s down 2-0).
FBRef.com details Kolo Muani as an elite ball carrier for a center forward, but the price tag is absolutely massive. That said, perhaps $100M is the new $50M. Rich. (NM)
March 11 – Harry Kane is Erik ten Hag’s No. 1 summer target
Imagine a Manchester United attacking three of Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, and Antony, sitting underneath Harry Kane.
Come on, right? That’ll give any back line a run for its money, and the Manchester Evening Newssays that Erik ten Hag has prioritized Kane for a summer move.
Kane, 29, is heading into the final year of his Tottenham contract, with Spurs looking a good bet to keep their place in the top four and give Kane a route back into the Champions League.
But Kane has also been heavily linked with a move to Bayern Munich if he were to leave Tottenham, leaving North London without drawing as much domestic ire from a club and fan base which has earned him so much devotion.
The same report says Anthony Martial is going to leave United this summer.
Could you see Kane at Old Trafford in a home shirt? The powerhouse forward has been as crucial a finisher as any player in the Premier League not named Erling Haaland. Kane has 22 goal involvements in 27 Premier League games, not far off Haaland’s — relatively speaking — 32 in 25. (NM)
February 27 — Red Devils linked with Celta Vigo starlet
Manchester United’s been linked with several players this weekend including long-time target Lautaro Martinez, but the biggest heat might be under the fight for Celta Vigo’s Gabri Veiga.
Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, and Man Utd are reportedly in hot pursuit of the 20-year-old, viewing as a ball-carrying wizard with a eye for goal.
Veiga has eight goals, three assists, and 46 shot-creating actions during 22 La Liga matches for Celta, where he plays as an attacking midfielder and has earned call-ups to Spain’s U-18 and U-21 sides. (NM)
Manchester United confirmed transfers & signings – January 2023 window
Wout Weghorst – Burnley (loan)
Jack Butland – Crystal Palace (loan)
Marcel Sabitzer – Bayern Munich (loan)
Martin Dubravka – Newcastle United (loan recall)
Manchester United archived transfer news
January 31 – Marcel Sabitzer wants to leave Bayern Munich
Surprising moves between Munich and Manchester may not be limited to Joao Cancelo’s move abroad.
Marcel Sabitzer could end his frustrating spell at Bayern Munich by heading to Manchester United, as the Austrian is reportedly unhappy with his usage at Bayern.
The move makes a ton of sense now that Christian Eriksen is out until at least April with injury, and Sabitzer would likely be freed up to make more adventurous passes. He’s been in a more defensive role at Bayern.
A hard-tackling midfielder who likes to both advance the ball and receive the ball in advanced spots, Sabitzer could be another masterstroke from Erik ten Hag. (NM)
January 16 – Denzel Dumfries in discussions with Red Devils
Denzel Dumfries had a brilliant World Cup — USMNT fans may still be haunted by his name — and now may be headed for the Premier League.
Tutto Mercato says that Inter Milan is entertaining talks with Manchester United about uniting the Dutch right wingback with his countryman Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford.
The reported price tag? $40-42 million.
One reason to consider this a bit unusual is that Diogo Dalot has become a Ten Hag favorite and currently occupies the right flank with Aaron Wan-Bissaka as the backup. Of course Ten Hag wants depth but Dumfries isn’t leaving Inter Milan to be a backup.
January 12 – Weghorst to United officially official
It is done. According to our partners in the UK at Sky Sports, Wout Weghorst terminated his loan deal with Besiktas, completed his medical and officially joined Manchester United on loan. It was widely reported that United have paid $3.2 million in compensation to Besiktas to sign Weghorst on loan from Burnley until the summer. Erik ten Hag wanted an extra forward option and the 30-year-old Dutch striker is his man. Weghorst will give United something totally different and his hold-up play should suit their style of play extremely well. (JPW/AE)
January 10 – Reports say Weghorst ready to personally pay compensation to leave Besiktas
Okay, this is pretty wild, but reports from Turkish journalist Gokhan Dinc state that Wout Weghorst is ready to pay compensation to Besiktas so he can rip up his loan deal with them and head to Manchester United. That’s right, the 30-year-old Dutch forward will dip into his own pocket to pay the termination fee to the Turkish giants who have an agreement with Burnley to loan him for this season. With Manchester United coming in for Weghorst and wanting to loan him until the summer, the forward is said to be desperate to join the Red Devils and even waved goodbye to Besiktas fans after scoring his most recent goal for them. This is fast moving but Weghorst was pictured training with Besiktas in photos released on Tuesday, so it appears there is still a little way to go in this one. (JPW)
January 9 – Besiktas holding firm over Weghorst deal; monster deals lined up summer
Turkish giants Besiktas have released a statement saying there will be no imminent move from Burnley to Manchester United for their on-loan striker Wout Weghorst. They added that reports suggesting it is possible to get Weghorst out of his loan deal to them for $3 million are wide of the mark. The Dutch forward is subject of serious interest from United as a loan signing until the end of the season as Erik ten Hag looks to boost his attacking options.
Weghorst is currently on loan at Besiktas from Burnley but the Turkish Super Lig side want to be compensated if Burnley decides to recall him and then he heads to United. The Dutch international, 30, has scored eight goals in 16 league games for Besiktas this season and they are extremely reluctant to let him go. Weghorst will give United an aerial threat up top, plus he can hold up the ball, link play and Erik ten Hag knows him extremely well. Per a report from ESPN, Weghorst is the short-term solution and in the summer United will try to sign Harry Kane, Benjamin Sesko or Victor Osimhen. That trio are the long-term options for United to build their attack around but in the meantime they certainly need to add one forward who is something different to what they already have and can help them in the League Cup, FA Cup, Europa League and Premier League grind. (JPW)
January 7 – Man United negotiating loan move for Wout Weghorst
Earlier this week, Erik ten Hag made Manchester United’s January intentions very clear: “We are looking for a striker,” he said. According to multiple reports, the Red Devils are in talks with Burnley over Dutch forward Wout Weghorst, who is currently on loan to Besiktas. To facilitate a move to Old Trafford — temporary or otherwise — Burnley would have to recall Weghorst from his loan spell in Turkey. (AE)
Jan. 4 – Jack Butland in talks over becoming United’s No. 2 goalkeeper
According to The Telegraph Jack Butland, still just 29 years old, is in talks about signing for Manchester United. Butland is currently the back-up goalkeeper at Crystal Palace but with Martin Dubravka recalled by Newcastle United from his loan at Manchester United, the Red Devils need an extra goalkeeper to step in for David de Gea when needed. They currently have Tom Heaton as their other goalkeeping option.
Butland is an England international who suffered a serious ankle injury just when he was pushing to become England’s No. 1 but he still made the 2018 World Cup squad. He was relegated with Stoke City just before the World Cup and battled it out with them in the Championship before moving to Crystal Palace in 2020 to try and revive his career. He has six months left on his contract at Palace and remains behind Vicente Guaita in the pecking order so swapping a back-up role at Palace for a back-up role at United is a pretty decent move. Butland will likely play in FA Cup, League Cup and perhaps some Europa League games for United and with David de Gea’s future not certain, perhaps a spot could open up for him to fully revive his career? (JPW)
Jan. 2 – Ten Hag: “We are looking for a striker”
With a top-four place very much within reach, Erik ten Hag has confirmed Manchester United’s top January priority: a striker.
“We are looking for offensive players. We are looking for a striker. We are always in the market but it has to match the sporting criteria — also the financial criteria. We do what we can to bring in the players we need.”
Dec. 29 – Manchester United, Tottenham open talks with Rennes for Martin Terrier
Discussions about a new center forward at Manchester United had become commonplace even before it cut ties with Cristiano Ronaldo but another left winger (who, yes, also plays some center forward)?
Free-scoring Rennes forward Martin Terrier is said to be a target for United as well as Tottenham Hotspur as both clubs reportedly have opened discussions with the Ligue 1 outfit regarding the 25-year-old. Price tag? It reportedly starts around $38 million.
Terrier has become a regular amongst the Ligue 1 scoring charts, bagging 21 goals last season and already delivering eight in 14 matches this season. He’s chipped in three goals in Europa League and also had provided 11 assists across all competitions since the start of last season.
Very strong in the air and a good passer to boot, Terrier is an expected goals and assists monster who could combine with Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, and Anthony Martial (plus others) to haunt Premier League defenses. Problem is, might he match up just as well with Harry Kane and Tottenham? Antonio Conte is said to be on the case. (NM)
Dec. 21 – Cody Gakpo to continue Eredivisie imports at Old Trafford
UPDATE: Gakpo has signed for Liverpool
PSV Eindhoven held onto young Cody Gakpo this summer and the Dutch club looks fit to reap the rewards as it holds out for a club record transfer fee.
That wouldn’t be a problem for Man United if it goes for Gakpo, who has been rated at $50 million-plus and that fee has not been a problem in the past. According to talkSPORT, United are ‘desperate’ to sign Gakpo in January.
There are some Robin van Persie qualities in the 23-year-old’s game, but Gakpo will be hoping to find RVP’s highs and reproduce them more often in his career.
Gakpo stands 6-foot-2 and often comes off the left wing, scoring three goals in five appearances at the 2022 World Cup.
The Netherlands star has an almost-absurd nine goals and 12 assists in 14 Eredivisie minutes this young season, chipping in three more goals and two assists in the Europa League.
He’d join Lisandro Martinez, Antony, and Tyrell Malacia as imports from the Netherlands’ top flight. (NM)
Dec. 21 – Diogo Costa to join World Cup teammate Bruno Fernandes in Old Trafford move?
Note the vowel: This is not about Diego Costa, now at Wolves.
No, it’s DIogo Costa, who was Portugal’s goalkeeper at the recently-completed World Cup in Qatar and apparently got tongues wagging around Old Trafford.
But the Red Devils would have to wait until summer, according to a report translated by Sky Sports, and they will have to pay Porto big bucks.
According to Portuguese outlet Correio da Manha, Costa will not be allowed to leave Porto in January and any move in the summer would require United to pay the full €75m (£65m) to release him.
The Swiss-born 23-year-old has 11 caps for Portugal and allowed just six goals in five matches in Qatar. Costa has appeared for Portugal at the U15-U21 levels and also performed for the Olympic team.
Manchester United 2022-23 confirmed transfers & signings — Summer
Lisandro Martinez – Ajax ($68.7 million)
Tyrell Malacia – Feyenoord ($13.2 million, plus $2 million possible add-ons)
Christian Eriksen – Free
Casemiro – Real Madrid ($70 million)
Antony – Ajax ($103 million)
Martin Dubravka – Newcastle United (loan – $3.5 million fee)
Andreas Pereira – Fulham ($11.9 million)
Dean Henderson – Nottingham Forest (loan)
Paul Pogba (end of contract)
Nemanja Matic – Roma (free transfer)
Juan Mata (end of contract)
Edinson Cavani (end of contract)
Jesse Lingard (end of contract)
Lee Grant (end of contract)
Eric Bailly – Marseille (loan – $3 million fee)
Manchester United archived transfer news, rumors
August 31 – Ronaldo expected to stay at Man United; Antony, Dubravka to be last signings
Erik ten Hag has said he expects Cristiano Ronaldo to stay at Manchester United as the transfer deadline ticks down, while the Dutch coach also confirmed that winger Antony and goalkeeper Martin Dubravka will be United’s final pieces of business in the summer window.
Ronaldo, 37, has been linked with a move away all summer as it is believed he wanted to move on and play for a team in the Champions League. However, no deals have been lined up for him and Erik ten Hag and United have always stated that they want Ronaldo to stay. It seems like they may win this battle as the only real options left are Sporting Lisbon and Napoli on loan, and even those two deals seem very tough to get done with just over 24 hours to go in the summer window.
“It’s clear, of course. We need quality players,” Erik ten Hag said when asked about Ronaldo staying at United. “You need more to cover all the games to keep the consistency going, that’s what we strive for.”
If he doesn’t leave, let’s see how Ronaldo reacts to being a bit-part played at United over the next few months… (JPW)
August 29 – Antony flying to Manchester for medical ahead of $100 million move
Brazilian winger Antony, 22, will be on his way to Manchester shortly for his medical, according to Fabrizio Romano. After United and Ajax finally agreed a fee of $100 million (after a little push from Antony as he expressed his desire to leave the Amsterdam club), Antony is now ready to head to Manchester to complete the formalities of this huge deal. Do United need a winger? Probably not. But Antony’s arrival would add another attacking player who is able to play across the front line and United’s forward unit would become even more flexible. (JPW)
August 19 – Man United confirm agreement with Casemiro, Real Madrid
Man United announced on Friday that an agreement has been reached with Casemiro and Real Madrid, with the 30-year-old Brazilian defensive midfielder set to move to Old Trafford upon completion of his medical exams. Casemiro recently held talks with the Real Madrid hierarchy and indicated that he “wants a new challenge” at this point in his career. According to reports, Casemiro’s contract will pay him just short of $450,000 per week ($23.4 million annually), marking significant investment in a vitally important position as Erik ten Hag tries to right a wayward ship. The transfer fee is reportedly $70.9 million with another $11.8 million possible in add-ons. (AE)
August 19 – Manchester United “making progress” on USMNT right back Sergino Dest
Sergiño Dest is not wanted by current Barcelona manager Xavi — not to mention, the club needs to rid itself of unwanted wages in the worst way — making the 21-year-old USMNT right back extremely available. The only problem, at least thus far, is that Dest doesn’t necessarily want to leave Catalonia. Now, according to a report from the Independent‘s Miguel Delaney, Manchester United and new manager Erik ten Hag are “making progress” on a deal to bring Dest to Old Trafford. Dest played two seasons under Ten Hag at Ajax, from 2019-2021. (AE)
August 18 – Pulisic loan deal in doubt
The reports that Christian Pulisic is a loan target for Manchester United are swirling but both the BBC and Sky Sports believe a loan move for the USMNT star to United is very unlikely. Why? Well, Chelsea don’t want to strengthen a potential top four rival by letting the 23-year-old join them. Per the latest reports, Chelsea would prefer to sell Pulisic on a permanent deal or they may want him to extend his contract with them first before loaning him so his market value remains high. It seems unlikely that United, or any other club, will pay what Chelsea want for Pulisic as the American winger has just under two years left on his contract and the Blues are said to want to recoup most of the $70 million they paid for him in 2019. (JPW)
August 18 – Casemiro now the main target for United
According to a report from The Athletic’s David Ornstein, Manchester United’s main transfer target is now Casemiro from Real Madrid. The 30-year-old Brazilian midfielder has been a star at Real over the last nine years, winning five UEFA Champions League titles and his status as a Real legend is undoubted as he’s meshed so well with Toni Kroos and Luka Modric. Per the report, United have offered Casemiro huge wages and see him as being key to Erik ten Hag’s rebuild as he would give the team defensive stability in midfield. The midfielder is also said to be keen on a move (he’s been offered a five-year contract which will reportedly almost double his wages) and he has just under three years left on his current contract at Real Madrid. It is believed Casemiro would cost in the region of $70 million.
Would Casemiro be a good fit? Of course he would. He would break up play, get attacks going and general dominate the engine room. However, he is just one of a few key players United need to sign between now and the end of the summer window. Erik ten Hag needs a deep-lying playmaker (ahem, Frenkie de Jong…) to sit alongside Casemiro as that means all of the tackles he wins will then be used effectively to start attacks. Perhaps Christian Eriksen alongside Casemiro would work? (JPW)
August 17 – Cristiano Ronaldo sends cryptic message ahead of expected exit
Cristiano Ronaldo is apparently keeping a notebook with all of his transfer rumors, as the
egomaniac Portuguese megastar is reportedly moving closer to get his desired Manchester United exit, with the club reportedly now ready to sell him.
Ronaldo says that the media has been “telling lies” about him and his potential moves while promising that he will give an interview in two weeks’ time to give all the details of his summer. Does this mean he’s planning to stay, or just that he knows any Ronaldo transfer is going to take to the end of the transfer window?
Our own Joe-Prince Wright has more on the story, here.
We couldn’t wait two weeks, so we went in a time machine and found it: “I will always love Manchester United and am sad to leave/excited to stay. Something about Sir Alex. GGMU.” (NM)
August 17 – Christian Pulisic open to Man United loan move
Manchester United has reportedly joined the list of clubs interested in taking USMNT winger Christian Pulisic on loan from Chelsea, and the player is said to be into the move.
Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Newcastle United, and AC Milan have also been linked with Pulisic, who wants to stay at Chelsea but is anxious to leave Stamford Bridge in pursuit of playing time before the World Cup.
United could pair Pulisic and Jadon Sancho on either side of a center forward, whether Anthony Martial, Cristiano Ronaldo, or even Marcus Rashford. A new face has been expected to join United at CF for some time, too.
What does it say about the status of Manchester United that Chelsea would be open to the move? And to a lesser extent, what does it say about Thomas Tuchel’s view of Pulisic? (NM)
August 14 – USMNT back Sergino Dest linked with Old Trafford
Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez needs players to leave in order to give him the freedom to register new players before the end of the window but Sergino Dest has so far shown desire to fight for his place.
And so Dest’s omission from the 18 for Barcelona’s 0-0 draw with Rayo Vallecano on Saturday is reportedly intended to show the USMNT back his status in the pecking order, and now Man United is said to feel encouraged at their chances of wooing the player to Old Trafford.
Dest will surely want to play and Saturday could well serve as the intended wake-up call. Gregg Berhalter will be encouraging Dest to go somewhere he can play and United would provide that hope with reports of Diogo Dalot going the other way. With a pal in Frenkie de Jong continually linked with United, maybe having a teammate join them in the move could sway both to Manchester?
Would it be good for Dest? Who knows? United is a mess right now but the player would be familiar with so many pieces at United including fellow ex-Ajax men Lisandro Martinez and Erik ten Hag. (NM)
August 9 – Arnautovic deal is off
According to a report from The Athletic, a deal for Marko Arnautovic is off after uproar among United’s fanbase. Per the report, United’s hierarchy didn’t expect such a negative reaction and Bologna also began to increase their asking price for the Austrian striker. Let’s see who United move for next when it comes to forward options? (JPW)
July 29 – Ronaldo to play for Manchester United in preseason friendly this weekend
Cristiano Ronaldo may want to leave Man United this summer, but with a clear path away from Old Trafford yet to materialize, the 37-year-old is set to join his Red Devil teammates in a preseason friendly this weekend. Ronaldo made the announcement himself on Friday, via Instagram, commented “Domingo o rei joga” — “Sunday, the king plays.” It was reported earlier on Friday that the Portuguese superstar had been left out of Erik ten Hag’s squad for a friendly against Atletico Madrid on Saturday (in Oslo, Norway), but Ronaldo has indicated his return is slated for a friendly against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday (at Old Trafford). (AE)
July 29 – Ronaldo’s agent in talks with former club Sporting Lisbon
We now that Cristiano Ronaldo wants out of Manchester United and his first-ever club, Sporting Lisbon, could be the solution. According to a report from The Athletic, Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, is in talks with the Sporting hierarchy over a potential deal. Ronaldo, 37, came up through the youth team at Sporting and left them for Manchester United when he was 18. Sporting finished second in the Portuguese top-flight last season, so are in the Champions League group stage and Ronaldo is adamant he wants to move to a club playing in the Champions League. So, in theory, this seems like a good fit. But financially there’s no way Sporting Lisbon could afford this move and Ronaldo will have to lower his wage demands massively.
With Atletico Madrid, Napoli, Bayern Munich and Chelsea all passing up on signing Ronaldo, the legendary forward has basically run out of other options to leave Manchester United this summer. There has been talk that United want Ronaldo to sign his option of an extra year on his contract (which will take him up to the summer of 2024) and he will then be loaned out to Sporting Lisbon for the 2022-23 season. That scenario still seems very unlikely but what other choice does Ronaldo have right now? He’s used to getting his own way when it comes to negotiations because, well, he’s Ronaldo. But Ronaldo and his representatives have badly miscalculated this one and Manchester United are holding firm as Erik ten Hag wants him in his plans for the 2022-23 campaign. (JPW)
July 28 – Cristiano Ronaldo still wants out after talks
Manchester United could not sell Cristiano Ronaldo on its project after crisis talks with the reportedly wantaway star, according to Sky Sports.
Ronaldo, 37, still wants to leave Old Trafford after flying into Manchester to meet with club hierarchy, but is now training with the team.
The reporting says Ronaldo wants to exit in order to join a UEFA Champions League club, and to be fair this is totally on-brand and what United should’ve expected when signing the Portuguese.
But that’s not changing United’s stance on Ronaldo, as they do not want to sell him. And the story around soccer is that there may not be a club that both wants Ronaldo and can afford his wages. Sky Sports says to not completely rule out Atletico Madrid, but there’s a massive portion of the supporter base that doesn’t want the club’s longtime massive rival. Wouldn’t it be hilarious to see Ronaldo and Diego Simeone respecting each other? Seems like a recipe for success, doesn’t it?
Ronaldo wants to play in the Champions League and compete for major trophies. So does every other player in the world. It looks, for the moment, that he’s going to have to come to terms with the fact that he’s not bigger than the club, and you have to think that United would be thrilled find a buyer for him regardless of its public stance. If there’s a player in the world capable of short-circuiting Erik ten Hag’s project, he’s the one oft-mentioned in this article. (NM)
July 27 – Done deal: Lisandro Martinez deal complete
Now, we knew this deal was all but confirmed but now it is officially official: Lisandro Martinez is a Manchester United player. The Argentine international, 24, has joined United for a fee of $68.7 million and has signed a five-year contract with the option of an extra year. Martinez starred for Ajax last season as he was their player of the season under Erik ten Hag, and he now links up with his former manager to help usher in a new era at Old Trafford.
Martinez is exactly the kind of player United needed, as he will bring a calmness, authority and class to their defense. Able to play as a center back or at left back, Martinez will slot straight into this team and it will be intriguing to see if Harry Maguire loses his place or if Martinez initially plays at left back or ETH switches United to three at the back. Wherever Martinez plays, he brings quality to United and along with the signings of Christian Eriksen and Tyrell Malacia, there is a clear identity to the new players the Red Devils are signing. (JPW)
July 27 – Ronaldo running out of options
In the last few hours both Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid have talked down the idea of signing Cristiano Ronaldo. Basically, they’ve both said it isn’t going to happen. Bayern Munich director Oliver Kahn had the following to say about reports linking the German champs to Ronaldo: “We discussed about Cristiano Ronaldo internally – I consider him one of greatest footballers ever. Then we came to conclusion that, despite appreciation for Cristiano, he would not fit into our philosophy in the current situation.”
That came hours after Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo said this about reports linking Real Madrid legend Ronaldo with an audacious move to his former crosstown rivals: “I’ve already said this several times, I don’t know who invented the Cristiano story but I’ll tell you that it’s practically impossible that he comes to Atletico de Madrid. Rumors are rumors and they have to stay as rumors. If you keep on fuelling the rumors then eventually it will look like it’s something real, which it’s not.”
Ronaldo, 37, is back in Manchester at United’s Carrington training ground and is reportedly still set on leaving United this summer. But where on earth will he go? If his dream is to remain in the UEFA Champions League, there are very few options for him to join a team in the UCL which will be able to compete to win it. PSG seems like a no-go. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Bayern Munich all seem like no-go’s too. Of the 26 teams who have qualified for the Champions League group stage this season, perhaps his best option is a return to Portugal to play for Sporting Lisbon? They will do well to get out of the group stage, though, so would that be worth it for Ronaldo? United seem to be set on keeping Ronaldo for this season but if he doesn’t want to be there, is that a big mistake? We will find out much more in the coming days and it will be intriguing to see if Ronaldo is in the United squad for their opener against Brighton in 9 days’ time. (JPW)
July 26 – Ronaldo arrives at United’s training ground for talks
Blink and you’ll miss him, but the video below shows Cristiano Ronaldo arriving at Manchester United’s training ground for the first time this summer. With just over a week to go until the new season kicks off, Erik ten Hag will sit down with Ronaldo to discuss his plans and try to convince him to stay at United. Jorge Mendes, Ronaldo’s agent, was shown alongside him in the car and it was reported that Sir Alex Ferguson also arrived at the Carrington training base but our partners in the UK at Sky Sports say he was not involved in talks. Ronaldo, 37, is running out of options for a move away this summer as Bayern Munich and Chelsea both opted out of moving for the Portuguese superstar. Ronaldo reportedly wants to leave United in order to play in the UEFA Champions League. With Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho excelling as a front three in preseason for United, it may be tough for Ronaldo to actually get into this new-look United side early in the season. But, after all, he is Cristiano Ronaldo and if ETH convinces him to be a part of his plans, then surely he will play a big part in the 2022-23 campaign. (JPW)
July 25 – Ronaldo traveling back to Manchester, will hold talks with United
One way or the other, the Cristiano Ronaldo want-away transfer saga must be resolved at some point, and that point in time could come much sooner rather than later. According to a report from David Ornstein, Ronaldo is traveling back to England and expected to meet with Man United executives as well as, eventually, new manager Erik ten Hag. The key line, from Ornstein’s report: (AE)
Sources around the matter suggest it is increasingly likely that Ronaldo remains at United, but there is still a lack of clarity about the situation.
July 19 – Cristiano Ronaldo saga rumbles on as Atletico Madrid linked
Cristiano Ronaldo, 37, is running out of places to move to this summer as Chelsea and Bayern Munich are out, while PSG seems very unlikely. According to a report from AS in Spain, a return to the Spanish capital could be on the cards but no, not to Real Madrid. Per the report, Ronaldo and his representatives have been contacted by Atletico Madrid and Diego Simeone really wants to sign him. As a Real Madrid legend, how would fans of Atleti take this one? If it helps them challenge for trophies in Spain and Europe then they would probably accept it. Could Ronaldo have a similar impact to Luis Suarez turning up in 2020 to help them win the Spanish title? Potentially. Still, it’s tough to see Ronaldo lining up in the red and white stripes of the team he tormented so often during his nine-year stay at Real.
The Portuguese superstar is still wanted by Man United and Erik ten Hag has gone as far as stating that Ronaldo is in his plans for this season and he could see Ronaldo extending his contract for another year (which he holds the option to do so) after a positive 2022-23 campaign. That seems unlikely as Ronaldo clearly wants to leave and although it is just preseason, Erik ten Hag’s front three of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho seem to be a very good fit as a unit. The kicker to all of this is that either Ronaldo would have to significantly reduce his wage demands or Atletico would have to offload plenty of other forwards just to afford him, with Alvaro Morata and Angel Correa potentially being sold. Is Ronaldo worth it for Atletico? If Simeone thinks he can add the goals and cutting edge his team is sometime lacking and can slot in to their high-pressing, manic style of play, who are we to disagree? (JPW)
July 17 – Manchester United reach agreement with Ajax for Lisandro Martinez
Arsenal were first linked with him this summer, but Lisandro Martinez appears headed for Manchester United instead after the Red Devils announced on Sunday that a $65.3-million agreement had been reached with Ajax. The 24-year-old center is expected to sign for Man United upon agreeing personal terms and/or completing a medical. (AE)
July 15 – Christian Eriksen signs for Manchester United
Christian Eriksen, 30, has signed for Manchester United as a free agent. The Danish playmaker has finally completed the move and he has signed a three-year contract at Old Trafford. This is another big move for the Red Devils as Eriksen will play a key role in helping Erik ten Hag implement his playing style.
Eriksen said the following about his arrival at Old Trafford: “Manchester United is a special club, and I cannot wait to get started. I have had the privilege of playing at Old Trafford many times but to do it in the red shirt of United will be an amazing feeling.
“I have seen Erik’s work at Ajax and know the level of detail and preparation that he and his staff put into every day. It is clear that he is a fantastic coach. Having spoken with him and learned more about his vision and the way he wants the team to play, I am even more excited for the future. I still have major ambitions in the game, there is a huge amount that I know I can achieve, and this is the perfect place to continue my journey.”
This is a superb free transfer from United and Eriksen showed his quality in the second half of last season at Brentford. His intelligence on the ball and ability to play in a variety of roles across midfield and attack will be invaluable for United. So too will his experience as United have a world-class midfielder ready to help make them tick. Now, how will ETH fit Eriksen, Bruno Fernandes and potentially Frenkie de Jong into the same team? Eriksen could play a slightly deeper role and at this stage of his career, that would be perfect for him to dictate the tempo of the game and help United keep the ball. (JPW)
July 15 – Lisandro Martinez deal is done for $55.4 million
Manchester United continue to head to the Netherlands for their new players as Ajax and Argentina defender Lisandro Martinez is about to join. Erik ten Hag was a huge fan of Martinez during his time at Ajax and the versatile defender (he can play center back or left back) will be key in improving this United defense. With Tyrell Malacia already arriving, the left-sided of United’s defense could have a totally new look this season. Martinez was chased by Arsenal for most of this summer but Martinez has decided to join United to work with ETH once again. (JPW)