Could Manchester United and Liverpool really make January deals for players still in the UEFA Champions League field?
Would United consider swapping players with their Round of 16 opponent?
Both teams are in the rumor mill this week and United’s mooted deal would see Atletico Madrid claim Anthony Martial in exchange for a player.
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But what would that mean? Is this a piece that would lower Martial’s price? Or would Martial help lower the price for United to acquire a star like Rodrigo de Paul or even Joao Felix?
Seems bonkers, but that’s why we read the rumors!
Anthony Martial to Atletico Madrid
Could Manchester United and Atletico Madrid do business before doing battle?
The UEFA Champions League Round of 16 opponents could discuss a glorious swap deal involving Anthony Martial, as Atleti is said to be ready to ask United who they’d want in exchange for the Frenchman.
Martial, 26, scored against Everton on Oct. 2 but has since played just 47 minutes in the Premier League due to injuries and illness. He has a contract through the end of the 2023-24 season and has 79 goals and 50 assists since arriving from AS Monaco.
Atleti’s striker corps includes Matheus Cunha, Luis Suarez, Angel Correa, Antoine Griezmann, and Joao Felix, not exactly an aged group with Suarez (34) and Griezmann (30) the eldest of the bunch.
The question is who United would take back in such a deal, assuming they’re not about to splash millions upon millions for Felix. Diego Simeone isn’t about to sending Rodrigo de Paul or Thomas Lemar away in the middle of a UCL push.
A straight-up purchase makes a lot more sense, but Ralf Rangnick would certainly kick the tires on players like Renan Lodi, Lemar, and others.
The beauty of this rumors is that it does beg the reader to come up with their own, “Who says no?” scenario.
Arthur to Liverpool, PSG
Remember when so many people lost their heads about the presumably lopsided nature of the Arthur for Miralem Pjanic swap deal?
Well, turns out both Juventus and Barcelona haven’t reaped the rewards of the deal.
Arthur has failed to win consistent playing time over Weston McKennie and others at Juve, and now may be on his way out of Turin.
Marca notes a possible swap deal with PSG for Mauro Icardi, while also linking Sevilla, Liverpool, and Bayern Munich with Arthur’s services.
And Anfield might make sense given Jurgen Klopp’s uncertainty in the midfield, as the club was also linked with a possible move to bring Georginio Wijnaldum back to Merseyside last month.
Arthur is an excellent ballmover who carries and passes the ball well in progressive play up the pitch. Think Joao Moutinho or Koke with a little less acumen in his own end.