In a World Cup summer where the transfer deadline for English clubs has been brought forward to before the start of the season, getting deals over the line at the right price is going to be tougher than ever.
Unai Emery is charged with guiding Arsenal to success in the post-Wenger era in North London, while Jose Mourinho is under pressure to construct a genuine Premier League title charge and emerge from the shadow of Pep Guardiola in Manchester.
Reports have emerged of a transfer deal that could impact the summer plans of both men; Serbian star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is still on the radar of the Red Devils and Lazio have reportedly lined up one of Emery’s key men as a replacement.
That’s why Football FanCast have decided to look at the potential transfer triangle that could spring from the deal that The Manchester Evening News report, via Corriere Dello Sport would cost in the region of £90m…
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Milinkovic-Savic has been linked with United for the better part of a year so it is not a shock to see fresh reports.
It would mean that Jose Mourinho has finally bitten the bullet and told Ed Woodward to get the expensive deal over the line on the back of a World Cup that has seen the Serbian impress on the global stage.
The summer arrival of Fred and expected last-ditch retention of Marouane Fellaini dampen the urgency of United’s need for reinforcements in midfield, so it would be a small shock if Jose went big for yet another face in the engine room, certainly while Paul Pogba is knocking around as well.
The report also says that the man that the Italian giants have lined up to replace Milinkovic-Savic if he leaves for big money is Arsenal’s Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey.
Amid uncertainty over the former Cardiff man’s willingness to commit to the Gunners, Emery has reportedly offered him a new contract as he wishes to build his Arsenal midfield around him.
Therefore, losing Ramsey would be a major blow to his hopes of overseeing instant improvement at the Emirates but it would be mitigated to some degree if a substantial chunk of the £90m United paid indirectly swelled the budget at Arsenal.
Ever Banega has been linked with a reunion with Emery at the Emirates and was outstanding on his introduction a toiling Argentina side as they scraped through into the World Cup last 16 with a 2-1 win over Nigeria.
At 29, he would be a slight indulgence as he has no resale value but if Emery is armed with a war chest after receiving a big-money bid for Ramsey, then the deal may get over the line.
He would offer more subtlety and guile than Ramsey, who is an impressive goalscorer but does not have a natural position in Emery’s preferred 4-2-3-1 system, especially with Mesut Ozil the outstanding candidate to be the number 10.