Manchester United really, really want a right winger. Only time will tell if the board will be able to bring Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele in on a loan deal, or sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, or someone else entirely.
Edinson Cavani and Alex Telles are both signing their contracts as we speak while Donny van de Beek has already settled into life at Old Trafford.
According to Italian transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, the Red Devils have reached an agreement with Atalanta for Amad Traore, although the teenager will arrive in January due to a complication with his work permit and passport.
The Ivory Coast international became the youngest player to score in his Serie A debut during Atalanta’s 7-1 win over Udinese, via ESPN.
Ed Woodward has handed out new deals left, right and centre to the likes of Brandon Williams and Dean Henderson while the club have finally found an adequate attacking midfielder for the first time since Paul Scholes left the club in January signing Bruno Fernandes.
They’ve even brought in Van de Beek to provide cover and competition for Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic.
If you were Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, you would imagine he would be quite happy with the signings so far, but they still need to strengthen the right wing, which is a bit of a problem when the transfer window closes in such a short space of time.
While Traore, 18, has made all of the headlines in Italy after breaking through the ranks into the first team, he is still largely unproven at the top levels of the game.
As far as Solskjaer is concerned, Jadon Sancho remains his number one target, although The Athletic’s David Ornstein recently reported a deal is off as it stands.
The young Ivorian, who was born in 2002, is obviously one to keep an eye on for the future, but he is still vastly inexperienced and cannot be expected to shoulder the responsibilities on the right wing.
In fact, United have been in this situation before. It wasn’t all that long ago that they signed Daniel James for an initial fee of £15m from Swansea City last summer, and we all know how well that worked out, as the Welshman only managed to score three goals and supply six assists in the Premier League, via WhoScored.
And Traore won’t come cheap either, with Romano revealing he is expected to cost €30m, which roughly equates to £27m at the time of writing.
With Traore set to link up with the squad next year, United need a right winger now, not in several months time, it really is that simple. The Red Devils have run out of options on the right wing as Andreas Pereira and Juan Mata are simply not up to the standards required.
Pereira, who fell out of favour with Solskjaer, has found himself shipped out on loan to Lazio.
And United need to sign a player who can dictate play and supply a steady stream of assists for the front three this season, someone who can hit the ground running, not someone who will only be available halfway through the season.
It will leave a sour taste in the mouth if Woodward is unable to sort out a deal with Dortmund for Sancho, a player whom the club have coveted for so long.