Whilst the Manchester United first-team players may currently be enjoying a few days of warm-weather training in Dubai before Monday night’s clash with Stoke City, that hasn’t stopped the media from linking a host of players with moves to Old Trafford during this month’s transfer window. Jose Mourinho’s side may have made the perfect start to the new year courtesy of two 2-0 victories over Everton and Derby County in the Premier League and FA Cup respectively, however, with the Reds competing for silverware on three fronts between now and the end of the campaign, there is every chance that the squad may be strengthened.
United to do business with Paris Saint-Germain for Brazilian winger?
One name that has been strongly linked with a move to the Theatre of Dreams over the past few days has been Paris Saint-Germain winger Lucas Moura, who caught Sir Alex Ferguson’s attention back in 2012. Having paid £198 million for Neymar during the summer and set to spend a further £168 on making Kylian Mbappe’s loan deal from Monaco permanent, the French giants are keen to balance the books and offload a number of first-team players. Moura has fallen down the pecking order at the Parc des Princes this season, making just six appearances in all competitions and finding the back of the net once, which could result in the Brazil international being made available for roughly £25 million, according to Telefoot. Whilst the 25-year-old may not have fulfilled his undoubted potential since his move to PSG five years ago, he remains a fine player and United could do with adding a bit more pace and width to their side. One potential obstacle, however, is the fact that Mourinho is set to prefer a loan deal until the end of the current campaign with the option to buy, whilst Moura is seeking a permanent move away from the French capital in order to gain regular first-team football and push for a place in Brazil’s World Cup squad ahead of this summer’s World Cup in Russia. Whether United’s interest turns into something more concrete remains to be seen, however, the winger would be a welcome addition to the United squad and an added plus is the fact that the Brazilian would not be ineligible for the Reds’ Champions League fixtures as he has not made any appearances in that competition for PSG, this season.
Mourinho tracking progress of highly-rated Bailey
Moura is not the only attacking player on United’s radar though, with the Manchester Evening News reporting that Mourinho is tracking the progress of highly-rated Bayer Leverkusen starlet Leon Bailey. The 20-year-old, who only moved to the German outfit last January, has enjoyed a stunning Bundesliga campaign so far, scoring six goals in his 14 appearances and is widely considered to be one of the brightest talents in Europe right now. Mourinho has reportedly sent scouts to keep tabs on the exciting winger’s process and Bailey himself has spoken of his future plans, claiming that his dream is to one day make it to England’s top flight.
“Of course, I have a dream club, but I will not tell,” he said. “Basically, England was and still is my dream and if I keep working hard, I’m sure it will work someday.”
Pereira rules out early United return
United midfield Andreas Pereira has enjoyed an impressive loan spell at Spanish side Valencia this season, making 20 appearances in all competitions to help his side rise to third place in the La Liga standings, 11 points behind league leaders Barcelona. Mourinho, who was thought to be unhappy with the 22-year-old’s decision to go to the Mestalla Stadium in search for regular first-team football rather than fight for his place at Old Trafford, was reportedly considering ending the Brazilian’s loan deal prematurely and bring him back to the Theatre of Dreams. However, Pereira himself has spoken of his desire to see out the rest of the loan deal and help secure silverware for the Spanish outfit. When asked about the possibility of returning to Old Trafford this month, the Brazilian outlined his intentions for the rest of the season, telling Superdeporte:
“I’m here and I want to stay. I feel good. I’m playing better and I want to win the cup with Valencia.”
Wilson loaned out to Championship side Sheffield United
Meanwhile, United have confirmed that under-23 striker James Wilson will spend the second-half of the campaign on loan at Championship outfit Sheffield United, having battled his way back from a serious knee injury sustained last season to become the Reserves’ top scorer this term. The 22-year-old has always been held in high regard by everyone at United but his development has often been curtailed by injuries and his move to the promotion-chasing Blades may be just what the forward needs in order to get back to his best and push on for a place in Mourinho’s first-team plans.