Manchester United are reportedly leading the race to sign Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare.
That’s according to Italian journalist Vito Angele, via the Italian Football Podcast, who claims that The Red Devils are close to landing the 21-year-old.
Premier League rivals Liverpool and Serie A giants AC Milan are also believed to be keen on securing his services.
Angele told the Italian Football Podcast: “He is an important player but I don’t think he will be coming to Serie A.
“Man Utd are working on him and they are the favourites to sign him right now. Lille are also asking a high price for him which is too much for Milan.”
Soumare has been in impressive form since the start of this season, making 21 appearances across all competitions, via Transfermarkt.
His current deal with the French Ligue 1 outfit will run out in 2022. However, it remains to be seen whether the Red Devils will be able to fend off interest from elsewhere in the January transfer window.
Paul Pogba faces an uncertain future at Old Trafford but there’s no denying that the French World Cup winner possesses incredible talent.
A Premier League winner under Sir Alex Ferguson, the Frenchman has produced 34 goals and 36 assists in over 180 appearances in all competitions, via Transfermarkt.
Pogba’s contract is also set to expire in 2022 but Solskjaer seems happy to let the the 27-year-old decide his own future.
If Pogba departs in the near future, United could get the perfect replacement in the shape of the 6 ft 2 in Soumare, who has even been compared to his fellow countryman, but “without the baggage“.
Lille president Gerard Lopez has heaped praise on his young charge, saying: “He’s one of the very best at his job. He’s technical, with incredible physical power and wins a great deal of possession. He’s a modern No.6 or 8. We’ll see him in the France team very soon. He’s a clear vision of where he wants to go and he’s working very hard to get there.”
In a similar way to Pogba, Solskjaer could transform the France U21 international into a box-to-box midfielder who can also play as a defensive-minded central midfielder. You could also compare that to the work he has done with Scott McTominay.
WhoScored lists some of Soumare’s main strengths as his strong dribbling and passing, which certainly shows that he has the capacity to adjust to Solskjaer’s demands. Valued at £20m via Transfermarkt, in 16 top-flight appearances, he is averaging 1.3 tackles and 1.2 interceptions per game, which shows that he isn’t afraid of doing the dirty work.
It’s fair to say that United could land themselves an absolute gem with an eye on the future in Soumare, but Ed Woodward will have to act swiftly to avoid a potential bidding war amid interest from Liverpool and AC Milan.
AND in other news, Man Utd’s Jesse Lingard produced one of his worst performances in the FA Cup…