Manchester United confirm $55 million signing of teenage striker Anthony Martial

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Manchester United have splashed the cash on Deadline Day with the biggest deal on the final day of the most lucrative transfer window in Premier League history.

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The Red Devils signed 19-year-old forward Anthony Martial, as the French international arrived from AS Monaco for $55 million plus plenty of add-ons and becomes the most-expensive teenager in world soccer.

Plenty of eyebrows have been raised about Martial, as he has scored just 15 goals in 71 appearances for Lyon and Monaco during his first three years as a professional.

“I am so excited to be joining Manchester United. I have enjoyed my time at AS Monaco and I would like to thank them and the fans for everything they have done for me,” Martial said. “I have always wanted to play in the Premier League and to join the biggest club in the world is what every young footballer dreams of. I am looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and working with Louis van Gaal who has achieved so much in his career.”

No matter what outsiders say, Louis van Gaal has seen something special in the young Frenchman and his arrival takes United’s summer of spending to just under $200 million with Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin, Memphis Depay, Matteo Darmian and Sergio Romero already arriving at Old Trafford.

[ PL Playback: It’s time to change the rules of the transfer window ]

Here’s what LVG has to say about Martial’s arrival at United.

“Anthony is a naturally talented, young, multi-functional forward with great potential. We have been watching him for a while now and he has developed immensely during his time at AS Monaco,” Martial said. “I am delighted he has joined Manchester United as I believe this is the right club for him to continue his development as a young player. He has all the attributes to become a top football player; however we need to give him time to adjust to his new environment and the rhythm of the Premier League.”

United have scored just three goals in their opening four games, with captain and current center forward Wayne Rooney failing to hit the back of the net.

Now, it seems like United are putting all of their hopes on the shoulders of a relatively unknown French striker who has plenty of promise but has yet to make his debut for the French national team despite being called up by Didier Deschamps for the friendlies with Serbia and Portugal in the coming 10 days.

In the space of a week, Martial has become the most-expensive teenage soccer star on the planet and could well make his debut for the French national team, as many have compared him to another former Monaco striker who joined the PL at a young age: Thierry Henry.

As weeks go, it doesn’t get much better than that for Martial, but after United lost out to Chelsea for Barcelona forward Pedro and plenty of other targets seem to have slipped through the net over the past 12 months since LVG took charge, there is an air of caution rather than optimism among United fans as they way to see whether or not Martial will lay down the law to opposition defenders in the Premier League.

Rumored Neymar for Bale swap: Who wins?

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Who would gain more of an advantage from the rumored, sensational Gareth Bale for Neymar swap: Paris Saint-Germain or Real Madrid?

Both players are currently problems for their clubs, though neither is known as a true rabble-rouser; Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane wants to be done with the newly-minted 30-year-old Bale, while PSG knows Neymar wants to leave and would love to satiate Kylian Mbappe’s appetite to be the man at their club.

[ REPORT: Man Utd, Leicester agree Maguire fee ]

Presumably some money would be headed PSG’s way in addition to Bale, and both clubs would be getting a motivated megawatt star.

Neymar doesn’t turn 28 until February, but the difference in age may be offset by the Brazilian’s track record of injuries.

In fact, his injury status last season combines with an off-field accusation of sexual assault and a red card for confronting a fan to overshadow his production: Neymar’s 23 goals and 13 assists in just over 2300 minutes last season, including five and two in the Champions League (and a goal and an assist against defensively-stout Liverpool).

Bale presents very few personality challenges, and PSG won’t have a problem with his massive wages (especially with Neymar off the books). His numbers have dipped in two of three seasons since his otherworldly 2015-16, but La Liga is a more difficult scoring league than Ligue 1.

Neymar has twice been a Ballon d’Or finalist and, presuming his legal troubles don’t persist, could be a title fight changer in La Liga. Imagine the Neymar, Eden Hazard, and Luka Jovic trying to outgun Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, and Luis Suarez? Insane.

We’d say Real would be winning the straight-up swap, and that it’s pretty unlikely to go down that way. So it depends what PSG does with the relative Financial Fair Play freedom that would come with the money that also arrives from Spain. Is it Idrissa Gana Gueye? Someone else who helps take PSG’s Champions League hopes to the next level?

Manchester United in ‘concrete talks’ with Lille over Pepe

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Manchester United are reportedly in “concrete talks” to agree a fee with Lille for much-tracked playmaker Nicolas Pepe.

The 24-year-old attacking midfielder has been linked with Liverpool and Arsenal amongst others, and Lille has admitted he’ll be leaving the club.

[ REPORT: Man Utd, Leicester agree Maguire fee ]

United’s reported salvo was around $87.5 million. He’d give them a star who could play across from Anthony Martial or as an attacking midfielder under Romelu Lukaku.

Only Kylian Mbappe and Teji Savanier garnered better season-long ratings than Pepe in the 2018-19 Ligue 1 campaign, and Pepe’s 22 goals and 11 assists stand out from the pack. Only Mbappe had more goals and only Savanier more assists.

Pepe has four goals in 11 caps for the Ivory Coast, and made three starts in Les Elephants’ five-match run at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. He’s a fit for the Premier League, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s system. And if the Red Devils can keep him from Liverpool, well, all the better we’re sure.

Report: Manchester United, Leicester agree to monster Maguire fee

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Manchester United and Leicester City have agreed a fee for Harry Maguire, clearing the way for the English center back to join the Old Trafford set.

That fee is a whopping $100 million, according to Bleacher Report’s Dean Jones. That’s about $4 million more than the world record for a defender, set when Liverpool purchased Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton.

[ MORE: USMNT CB to West Ham? ]

Maguire has been a statistical monster for Leicester City, and he passes the eye test, too.

Manchester United has needed to upgrade its stable of center backs for some time, and now the biggest question is who will work best alongside the 6-foot-4 26-year-old.

The former Sheffield United, Wigan Athletic, and Hull City defender is now 20-times capped by England.

The move could have a ripple effect on the Premier League, as the Foxes have been expected to bid for Burnley star James Tarkowski should Maguire leave the King Power Stadium.

Transfer rumor roundup: USMNT’s Long to London, Newcastle linked with pair

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Could USMNT center back Aaron Long be headed to the Premier League?

The 26-year-old could join West Ham United’s stable of center backs, which includes Issa Diop, Fabian Balbuena, and Angelo Ogbonna.

Sky Sports says that the Red Bulls defender has drawn the interest of Lyon and Fiorentina, but been offered to the Irons should they match his $5 million release clause.

Unable to find a place with Portland and Seattle, Long spent a few seasons in the USL before earning a place with RBNY.

Now 11-times capped by the USMNT with two goals, Long could be bringing his talents to London’s Olympic Stadium.

Elsewhere in the Premier League, Newcastle United has the chance to sign oft-injured Danny Welbeck on a free transfer.

The longtime Arsenal striker, weaned at Manchester United, scored five times in 12 matches last season in a return to injury woes following a 43-match season the prior year.

Newcastle is also being linked with a former defender. James Tavernier has gone on to captain Glasgow Rangers, and the 27-year-old would cost around $10 million.

Surely Steven Gerrard would want more for the defender, but prices haven’t met quality for Scottish Premiership players as we’ve seen with Kieran Tierney at Celtic.