Manchester United’s impasse over primary target Jadon Sancho means that, with less than a fortnight to go until the transfer window shuts, Donny van de Beek remains the club’s only senior signing.
While talks continue over a move for Sancho, Borussia Dortmund’s position on the England international appears to be unchanged.
This has led to other names being mentioned in connection with an Old Trafford move, whether in Sancho’s position or in other areas which need strengthening.
We have the latest for you on a couple of potential arrivals, as well as a potential departure which appears to be dragging on for just as long.
Roma preparing ‘last attempt’ to end Smalling stalemate
Roma remain keen to bring Chris Smalling back to the Stadio Olimpico, but have so far failed to come close to an agreement with Manchester United over a fee.
The centre-back impressed on loan in Serie A last season, helping the Giallorossi finish in the top six and reach the last 16 of the Europa League before returning to Manchester.
However, with United reluctant to budge on their €20million (£18.3m) asking price, reports in Italy suggest Roma are making one final push before turning their attention elsewhere.
According to Corriere dello Sport (via Sport Witness ), the Italian club are preparing one final offer for Smalling, and will give up on signing the player if they have no luck.
Roma have already added one centre-back to their ranks this summer, bringing in Albanian international Marash Kumbulla on loan from Verona, and have an obligation to buy the 20-year-old permanently at the end of the season.
United considering Dembele move as ‘Plan D’
Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele remains on United’s radar, according to reports in Spain, but the Frenchman is claimed to be far from a first choice for the club.
The former Borussia Dortmund forward has struggled with injury since joining Barca for a reported €105m in 2017, playing just nine games last season due to hamstring troubles.
As reported by AS (via the Manchester Evening News ), United are looking at Dembele as a ‘Plan D’, with Jadon Sancho remaining their primary target in the current window.
United’s other targets, according to the AS report, were Gareth Bale and Dembele’s club team-mate Ansu Fati.
The 23-year-old hasn’t featured since November, when he went off early in a Champions League victory over former club Dortmund, but Barca are understood to only be open to a sale for a fee in the region of €100m rather than a loan.
Last season’s Champions League quarter-finalists have begun a clearout following a disappointing 2019/20 season, with Nelson Semedo the latest player to leave after cut-price exits for Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal.
Manchester United are looking to plot their path back to the top. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already brought in Donny van de Beek but Jadon Sancho remains Manchester United’s number one target.
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Telles considered the better option for United despite Tagliafico rumours
WIth Manchester United failing to reach an agreement with Porto over Alex Telles, another South American defender has been mentioned in connection with an Old Trafford switch.
Telles had been linked as he enters the final year of his deal with the Portuguese club, but United have yet to make progress over a fee for the Brazilian.
This has prompted reports in Argentina about United’s interest in Nicolas Tagliafico, who was linked with Chelsea earlier in the summer, but South American football expert Tim Vickery maintains the Porto man would represent better value.
“I think signing Telles, Brazil’s reserve left-back would be the better option,” Vickery told Sky Sports News.
“I think he offers more defensively and in attack. Tagliafico is elegant but sometimes he can mark from range and physically I’m not sure if he offers enough in the final third.
“Also, the amount of money that they’re talking about to sign him, over £20m, for a player of Tagliafico’s age… he’s 28 now, that’s a player without much of a sell-on value. Alex Telles is a little bit younger and has a bit more European experience. I think he would offer a little bit more.”