In Focus: Triple swoop would make Man United great again

Man United are exploring the possibility of signing Paulo Dybala, Malcom and Thomas Lemar, the Daily Star and MailOnline claim.

What’s the story?

Jose Mourinho is plotting a sensational swoop to sign three of Europe’s most exciting players.

Juventus’ Paulo Dybala is fast becoming one of the hottest properties on the continent having helped the Old Lady win three trophies in his first season, and the Daily Star claim Mourinho is eager to bring him to Old Trafford in the summer for a fee of around £60m.

To add to that, MailOnline believe Man United are hoping to close a deal for Bordeaux wonderkid Malcom, who is catching they eye of Europe’s elite clubs with his dazzling performances in Ligue 1 this term.

A deal is reportedly being discussed where United will complete the transfer in January but would loan him back to Bordeaux for the remainder of this season. The report claims Bordeaux are holding out for £50m.

And finally, journalist Duncan Castle’s revealed on the Transfer Window podcast that Monaco’s Thomas Lemar – valued at £27m by transfermarkt.com – is a winger who Mourinho is extremely interested in bringing to the Premier League, but he will have the fend off competition from a number of other clubs.

“Lemar is a player Manchester United are very interested in for that left-wing position, or that left-footed winger, that Mourinho desperately wants to add to the squad to add to his tactical dimensions.

“At least those three clubs want Lemar but there’s still other clubs who come in for him because he’s probably the highest-regarded winger in football at the moment and Monaco will sell him for the right price.”

Duncan Castles, Transfer Window Podcast

Do Man United need all three?

Mourinho does have a wealth of devastating attacking options available to him, but a lack of consistency has held Man United back this season.

The likes of Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard have all scored goals this term but have failed to produce in the big moments and have have more alarmingly lacked consistency.

Mourinho and United will be looking at their rivals on the other side of Manchester and wondering how they can replicate the kind of attacking potency City have displayed in all competitions this season, and perhaps Mourinho believes a complete reshuffle in attack is what’s needed – even if it does cost more than £150m in transfer fees to do so.

Dybala, Malcom and Lemar would add pace, width and a clinical touch in front of goal, all of which Mourinho’s side has lacked in recent months.

It may also represent a change in formation for Mourinho’s United next season. The Portuguese has come under a lot of criticism for his very pragmatic and sometimes ultra-defensive approach to games this season and while that proves he is doing his best to ensure his side aren’t losing games, it also suggests he isn’t ready to place full trust in his attacking players to blow teams away like Man City do.

Signing all three would undoubtedly give United the chance to return to the top of the Premier League and challenge rivals City for the title. City’s dominance in attack has fired them to a 13 point lead at the top of the table at the halfway stage of this season and Mourinho will know that in order to stay in touch with them he’ll need to consider replicating their successful all-out-attack approach.

What does it mean for Man United’s current attackers?

If all three targets are secured then the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial will all be worrying for their Old Trafford careers.

While the trio have produced for Man United in their own right, they have equally been too inconsistent and have let down Mourinho too many times as a result.

Additionally, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic no longer a spring chicken, Mourinho needs to inject young, hungry and consistent attacking options in order for him to succeed in the Old Trafford dugout.

You would have to think Martial will be one of the first to be sold while Mkhitarayn is another player not expected to survive a reshuffle in attack.

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