The football transfer rumour mill is up and running again after a short hiatus and Manchester United are already being linked with some fresh faces.
First up is Ajax’s teenage prodigy Ryan Gravenberch. According to The Mirror, ‘The 18-year-old has already emerged as a target for Barcelona and Juventus who have registered their interest and been watching him.
‘But now English top flight clubs are taking interest as Dutch youth international Gravenberch played against Liverpool in the Champions League last week while Manchester United are keeping tabs.’
One thing that won’t appeal to United if they are pursuing Gravenberch’s signature is that they will have to deal with his agent, Mino Raiola, with whom the club has a particularly uneasy relationship.
The second name in the frame is AC Milan’s Hakan Calhanoglu. According to Spanish sources, the Turkish international is refusing Milan’s €3 million (£52,000 per week) renewal offer and ‘Manchester United are ready to offer him a hefty contract for next summer’ and are ‘willing to double the midfielder’s salary.’
‘The idea of being able to close his signing in January and ensure his arrival in the summer at zero cost greatly seduces the Red Devils sports management,’ the outlet claims.
The strange thing about both of these transfer stories is that they concern central midfielders, an area in which United are already extremely well served. Calhanoglu, in particular, is an attacking midfielder and would be competing with the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Donny van de Beek and Paul Pogba.
If United need any more midfielders, it is surely in the holding role, since the only specialist they have in that area is the aging Nemanja Matic.
Both of these stories have the air of being generated by the players’ agents and whilst they may be true, it would not be the first time that United’s name has been used to whip up competition and demand from other clubs.
They are therefore ones to watch, but not to get too excited about at this stage.
This summer’s transfer window was at times frustrating and disappointing. So cast your mind back to less stressful days and test your knowledge of past United arrivals and departures in our quiz below.