The summer transfer window is beginning to loom over Manchester United and it looks to be a particularly exciting one after announcing Jose Mourinho as their new manager last Friday.
Some sources have claimed the Portuguese will be handed as much as £270million this summer as he looks to overhaul an underwhelming squad inherited from Louis van Gaal.
And although every department requires a bit of a makeover following a really laboured campaign from the Red Devils, revolutionising the midfield will surely be Mourinho’s first port of call in the transfer market this summer.
After all, options like Maraoune Fellaini, Ander Herrera and Morgan Schneiderlin have all struggled to perform this season, whilst Mourinho seems almost certain to scrap £37.5million signing Juan Mata.
So with that in mind, we’ve combined some of the club’s better engine room performers with top transfer targets to create United’s dream midfield for the 2016/17 campaign.
Michael Carrick has reportedly been offered a one-year contract extension but the Red Devils still need to find a long-term successor to their ageing maestro at the base of midfield. Real Madrid star Toni Kroos may lack the 34-year-old’s defensive awareness but he’s a similar kind of player, boasting a world-class passing range and the intelligence to dictate possession from deep positions. It has been suggested the German World Cup winner will look to leave the Bernabeu this summer, with Manchester United reportedly poised to revive their interest from summer 2014.
It seems inevitable Jose Mourinho will bring at least one old crony to Manchester United this summer and Chelsea winger Willian has been billed as a leading candidate over the last few days. The industrious midfielder came to epitomise the Special One’s philosophy during his second spell at Stamford Bridge and has just completed the strongest campaign of his career with eleven goals across all competitions. The Brazil international would bring some much-needed dynamism to the right side of United’s midfield and rumour has it they’re already lining up a £60million bid.
Wayne Rooney was nothing short of phenomenal in central midfield during the last few weeks of the season and especially in the FA Cup final, where he demonstrated a relentless work ethic and real quality in possession. It remains to be seen whether the United skipper can hold down the role long-term but with Zlatan Ibrahimovic tipped to lead the line for the Red Devils next season, it’s unlikely he’ll get an abundance of opportunities at centre-forward. The engine room seems like the best fit for the 30-year-old at the minute.
What a signing this would be. The Times claim Jose Mourinho is ready to swoop for Paul Pogba and as arguably the top central midfielder in world football, he’d certainly enhance the quality of the Red Devils’ largely underwhelming engine room. Indeed, the France international sits somewhere between Yaya Toure and Patrick Vieira on the goalscoring destroyer spectrum and boasts a sublime combination of power, athleticism, technique and netting prowess. Having spent three years at Old Trafford as a youngster before switching to Juventus in 2012, Pogba must feel he has unfinished business with United and will be determined to prove Sir Alex Ferguson, who once overlooked him for Rafael in midfield, wrong. However, agent Mino Raiola claims the 23-year-old is worth a whopping €100million and we at Football FanCast feel inclined to agree. )
Anthony Martial has enjoyed a phenomenal debut campaign at Old Trafford, shaking off criticisms surrounding his £37million price-tag to net 17 times across all competitions – including a Premier League return of eleven goals and four assists in 33 outings. Aged just 20, the France international appears to have an incredible future ahead of him and looks set to feature heavily in Jose Mourinho’s plans. Whether he becomes a striker or a winger remains to be seen but with Zlatan’s arrival seemingly imminent, he’ll likely find more game-time out wide next term.