Memphis Depay is a wanted man after his career revival at Lyon, with Tottenham being talked up as potential suitors.
Few would have expected this when Depay flopped at Manchester United a few years ago, but the Netherlands international has looked a completely different player in his time in France.
This improvement in form is now seeing Depay linked as a £50million transfer target for Spurs, according to the Daily Mirror, who add that Man Utd inserted a buy-back clause into the deal to let the player go.
It is not clear from the report quite how much United would need to pay for the return of the 25-year-old, but one imagines the Red Devils won’t have to break the bank for him if they negotiated a fee at a time when his stock will have been a great deal lower.
This should give them the edge over Tottenham in any potential transfer battle, and based on Depay’s recent form and United’s struggles in attack, they should be preparing to take full advantage.
Of course, it could be a gamble to risk moving for Depay again after his struggles at Old Trafford the first time around, but it’s worth remembering he joined the club in far from ideal circumstances.
The former PSV star had looked a real wonderkid in his time in the Eredivisie, but perhaps wasn’t ideally suited to the tactics of Louis van Gaal, who struggled in general to get most of the team performing to a high enough standard.
Despite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s weaknesses, he perhaps looks a coach who could do more to harness the pace and goal threat of a player like Depay due to the more direct style of play encouraged by the Norwegian.
Meanwhile, let’s face it, he also badly needs someone like that in his side as attacking midfield has long been a problem position for the club.
Alexis Sanchez went out on loan in the summer after flopping at MUFC, and it’s hard to imagine he’ll actually be coming back.
Meanwhile, United have been linked by the Daily Mail with Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, who would cost around £100m – more than double what it seems like Tottenham are expected to have to pay for Depay, if the Mirror’s report is to be believed.
Given his 11 goals in all competitions this season and a fine scoring record in general at Lyon, now really seems an ideal time for Man Utd to buy him back, and they certainly shouldn’t let him move to one of their top four rivals without a fight.
Depay’s arrival could provide Solskjaer with the upgrades he needs on the likes of Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata in the final third, and hopefully take the pressure off Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial to provide all the moments of magic up front.
His form at PSV earlier in his career and his form with Lyon and the Dutch national team now suggests his dip at United was the exception to his otherwise fine career – could this now be the time for Depay to return to Manchester and put things right?