The Man United transfer news really is starting to hot up now, as it looks like they could sign not only one, but two midfielders this January.
As was the case in the summer, Bruno Fernandes has been talked up as Man Utd’s top transfer target, with various reports suggesting a deal is now close.
The Daily Mirror report that the Sporting Lisbon star has agreed personal terms on a potential £65million move, and it seems like only a matter of time before this long-running rumour one does finally become a reality.
Along with that, news has broken tonight of United’s pursuit of Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare.
As explained in the video below from Sky Sports, the exciting 20-year-old is set to leave Lille for a Premier League club this January, with United or Chelsea tipped as the two clubs in pole position for his signature in a deal likely to cost around £40m…
? – "He's been described as 'Paul Pogba without the baggage'…"@SkyKaveh has all the latest as Lille's Boubakary Soumare is set to decide between Manchester United or Chelsea – plus some news from @skysports_sheth on Bruno Fernandes…?#TransferTalk pic.twitter.com/Z1yV0AcdAm
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 16, 2020
What’s intriguing about this is the mention of Soumare as being described as ‘Paul Pogba without the baggage’, though it’s not specified where this description came from.
Even if this is not a line leaked by United themselves, it does seem like there is a clear desire here from the Red Devils to totally revamp their midfield, which suggests they are in fact planning for a future without their record signing.
There can be no denying things just haven’t worked out for Pogba at Old Trafford, and a potential partnership of Fernandes and Soumare could well combine the Frenchman’s best qualities in a generally more holistic and functioning midfield.
Of course, MUFC fans have been here before with some frustrating recent transfer sagas and many of the more pessimistic ones will no doubt expect Soumare to pick Chelsea while Fernandes ends up staying at Sporting again as he did in the summer.
But even if these moves don’t work out, it surely won’t be long before signings are finally made in this area, with various reports of Pogba’s future being in doubt continuing to emerge.
Calciomercato recently claimed United haven’t closed the door on a potential Pogba exit, with Juventus mentioned as a potential destination for the 26-year-old.
Meanwhile, it’s also been claimed by Don Balon that the club have slashed Pogba’s asking price by as much as €80m, meaning they now value him at just €100m, or £85m, which is less than they spent on signing him back in 2016, as per BBC Sport‘s report at the time.
If correct, this is a staggering decline from Pogba, with United seemingly willing to take a hit on a player who should in theory still have his peak years ahead of him and who remains one of the most marketable names in the game.
Jose Mourinho was mocked back in late 2018 for supposedly branding Pogba a “virus”, as reported by the Telegraph, but it seems even Mr Nice Guy himself Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has not managed to turn this difficult situation around.
Injury means we haven’t seen much of Pogba this season, but if Fernandes and Soumare end up joining United in the next fortnight, it might well mean we’ve now seen the last of Pogba at Old Trafford.