Friday, October 23, 2020

The attacking superstars that Manchester United missed out on this summer

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Watching news break on Thursday afternoon that Liverpool had agreed on a deal with Bayern Munich for Thiago Alcantara, Manchester United fans feel that has only highlighted what has been a quiet summer transfer spell around Old Trafford.

Although the former Premier League champions might have managed to bring Donny van de Beek over from Ajax and also secure Dean Henderson’s future with a bumper new deal, they have failed to make any vast alterations as they prepare for life back in the Champions League.

With it no secret that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is desperate to add to his attacking ranks before the transfer window slams shut on October 5th, United have seen a number of Europe’s biggest names pass on the chance to move to Manchester this summer.

Jadon Sancho – Borrusia Dortmund

While Manchester United fans might still be holding out hope that they can secure a last-gasp deal for Jadon Sancho before the window slams shut next month, it appears that the England international looks set to extend his stay in Germany.

With Borussia Dortmund making it clear that they have no intention of partying ways with the former Manchester City starlet for anything under their £108million valuation, the two clubs are really at an impasse with Lucien Farve’s side under no pressure to sell.

Although it might have been widely reported over the past month that the 20-year-old would be keen on a potential Premier League return, he himself has spoken out about how “happy” he is in rural Germany, not something Manchester United fans wanted to hear.

Featuring in all of Dortmund’s pre-season contests this summer and set to lead their line when the Bundesliga returns to action this weekend, Sky Sports News reporter Dharmesh Sheth spoke earlier in the week how Sancho’s move to Old Trafford now looks increasingly “unlikely”.

Gareth Bale – Real Madrid

With it appearing that United have missed out on their number one target in Sancho, many around Old Trafford were excited to see that Gareth Bale was being discussed as a potential alternative.

However, while it might have been reported that Solskjaer’s side had put out the feelers to Real Madrid over a potential loan switch, the Red Devils quickly saw another one of their attacking targets turn down a move to Manchester.

With Eurosport reporting that the Welshmen himself passed on the chance to join the former champions, Bale is now on the verge of completing what would be a sensational return to one of United’s Premier League rivals.

Not even in Zinedine Zidane’s plans and spending the majority of September training by himself since returning from international duties, the 31-year-old is set to join up with former club Spurs and an announcement on his loan deal is expected to be made over the coming days.

With it reported by The Daily Mail that Los Blancos are even going to be paying 50% of Bale’s £600,000-per-week salary, Jose Mourinho will think that has got one over on his former employers.

Willian – Arsenal

With many feeling that United are now scrabbling in an attempt to bolster their attacking ranks and add some competition to the likes of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford this summer, Manchester United once again saw another name on their wishlist head in a different direction.

While the Red Devils might have been a long-term admirer of now-former Chelsea winger Willian, they were unable to tempt him up North and instead saw the Brazilian international secure a three-year-deal with Arsenal.

Announcing earlier in the summer that he was open to leaving Stamford Bridge, The Daily Star reported last month that United offered a bumped two-year offer to the 32-year-old, an offer that was snubbed by Willian himself.

With Willian able to make the move to North London on a free transfer after running down his contract with Frank Lampard’s side, there is no doubt that the Old Trafford faithful would have jumped at the chance to bring Willian in without having to break the bank.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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