United completed their first signing of the summer this week. A deal with Benfica was announced late on Saturday night while the medical and other formalities were completed on Wednesday. As he was unveiled at Carrington, negotiations were said to be on for a number of transfer targets.
United were expected to complete a deal with Real Madrid for Morata by Monday but the day went by without an official announcement being made. United were still short of Madrid’s asking price of £70m. Morata is keen on sealing his transfer before he jets off for his honeymoon (later this week). Morata’s agent confirmed United’s interest in public and met with Real officials to force through a move for his client. While a formal transfer request was not made, Morata’s wishes were made explicit. A deal is widely expected to be announced in the coming hours with the clubs again ‘close’ to agreeing a fee.
Alvaro Morata may not be the only player joining United from Madrid this summer. Though highly unlikely, Ronaldo is believed to be unhappy at Madrid in the face of the accusation of tax evasion. He wants out and United are favorites be Ronaldo’s home. While PSG are also interested in Ronaldo, it is widely expected that should he move, it will only be to United. The move has the potential to disrupt United’s transfer plan as the fee for the world’s best player will be another record. Ronaldo is believed to have told his Portuguese teammates that his ‘decision’ to leave Madrid is ‘irreversible’.
United began the week as the favorite destination for Monaco ace Fabinho. But it was revealed that he is the third choice in midfield for Mourinho. The boss prefers potentially costlier moves for Eric Dier or former player Nemanja Matic. Mourinho is in the market for a long-term replacement for Michael Carrick.
Tottenham have told United that they can have Dier for a fee of £50m. While a move for a central midfielder is not expected in the coming week, negotiations are set to begin between Daniel Levy and Ed Woodward. The club have been in contact with Monaco for a Fabinho move should Levy play hardball. United will not make concrete steps for Dier or any other midfielder until at least Morata’s deal is secured.
The youngster is widely tipped to leave United this summer, and he has a number of clubs to choose from. Real Sociedad, Everton, West Ham, West Brom, Juventus, and Roma are all believed to be potential destinations for the 22-year-old. Roma have stolen a march on their rivals to contact United about a potential move. Celtic are also keeping a close eye on developments and may yet decide to bid for Januzaj. United will in all probability include a sell-on and buy-back clause in any deal should Januzaj have a dramatic return to the top.
Chris Smalling is another player set to head out through the Old Trafford exit door. With Mourinho deciding to give Phil Jones another chance at United having been pleased with what he saw in his partnership with Marcos Rojo. And with Victor Lindelof’s arrival, Smalling has become the odd man out. A number of Premier League clubs are interested in Chris with Arsenal topping the list. Southampton are also keeping an eye on developments and have eyed Smalling as a replacement for Virgil Van Dijk. West Ham are also an interest club.