Manchester United is the equivalent of the New York Yankees when it comes to being able to bring in any player they want. Money is no object and Manchester United is always tied to the biggest names in soccer and the potential for them to come and play in Old Trafford. In this article we will cover some of the top names that could be making their way to Manchester with eyes on playing for Jose Mourinho as well as players that could be heading elsewhere.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been one of the more pleasant surprises in the recent history of Manchester United. After coming over to the club as a free agent last summer from Paris Saint-Germain, Ibrahimovic scored twenty eight goals this season for Manchester United before suffering a season ending knee injury on April 20th in a match against Anderlecht. With that said, Ibrahimovic still has eyes, even at thirty five years old, of playing soccer again next season. The question that will linger over him will be, where? His contract that he signed over the summer expires after this season and while the club has opened the door for Zlatan to rehabilitate his knee injury in Manchester, it is believed that Ibrahimovic has eyes on coming to America to play in Major League Soccer. Since not having a marquee player since Steven Gerrard’s departure after the 2016
season, it is believed that the Los Angeles Galaxy could make a run for Ibrahimovic’s striking ability. It is hard to believe that this would not be a fit as the MLS is still in need of star power despite having teams pull in David Villa, Kaka, and Nicolás Lodeiro in recent years and Ibrahimovic, along with his personality, would certainly provide that. This is then paired with the reports that the Galaxy are ready to make Ibrahimovic the MLS’ highest paid player along with Jose Mourinho’s reluctance to “beg” for players to return and it seems as though the writing is on the wall for Zlatan Ibrahimovic to leave Manchester United and head to Los Angeles to play for the Galaxy.
2. David De Gea
Yet again we have another player that will have his name tied to potentially leaving Manchester United this summer. De Gea, who is widely considered to be one of, if not the best goalkeeper in world soccer, has had his name in talks with Real Madrid about a potential transfer. The move would allow for De Gea, who is from Madrid, to return home and continue his career, similar to what LeBron James did in the NBA returning to Cleveland. De Gea even spent two years with Atlético Madrid before coming to Manchester United in 2011. This move would be not just De Gea coming home, but also moving to the significantly better club, as he will be teammates with Cristiano Ronaldo. However, it seems as though this move be on the back burner for a while for Real Madrid. After an initial message from De Gea to a former teammate that is still with Atlético Madrid that stated they would beat Real Madrid, it rubbed the club the wrong way. That is coupled with the reports that surfaced on May 2nd that stated that Jose Mourinho would take time to discuss De Gea’s future with Manchester United with him after the season’s conclusion. It was also reported that at the moment, Manchester United has absolutely no intention of moving on from De Gea. Regardless, this should be an interesting storyline to follow over the summer as Mourinho and Manchester United try to figure out the future and whether that future will include David De Gea.
Here is the type of blockbuster move that a club like Manchester United is capable of. A player the caliber of Neymar is not just a replacement if Zlatan Ibrahimovic potentially departs the club, he is a massive upgrade. Neymar is the type of signing that can put Manchester United back at the top of the table with a club like Chelsea. Obviously, Neymar would come at a hefty price, there have been reports that link Manchester United to a potential £173 Million price tag for United to acquire the Brazilian forward Barcelona. Additionally, club manager Jose Mourinho has stated that the report was “absurd” and that he would not burden Manchester United with a financial task such as that. In lieu of not “wanting” Neymar, Jose Mourinho has been linked to Antoine Griezmann of Atlético Madrid as the top priority for Manchester United this summer at forward. However, if writing about sports has taught me anything, it is when to be able to smell a smokescreen from a team, and this seems just like it. For example, in 2009 the New York Yankees were linked to bringing Derek Lowe to New York before ultimately signing C.C. Sabathia. This move for United seems just like that. Jose Mourniho is going to put out smoke screens to make it seem like they have no interest in bring Neymar to Old Trafford, but the teams will discuss it and, once the pieces begin to fall in place, Neymar could get closer and closer to coming to Manchester United. Regardless, like the other two player above, this will certainly be the most interesting storyline to follow this summer in terms of a player coming in to play for Manchester United instead of trying to leave.
This move is a clear counter move to the rumors that are swirling around David De Gea. The Leicester City goalkeeper has been linked to both Manchester United and Manchester City in the time leading up to the transfer window, with the latest reports saying that United has jumped ahead of City in the race for Schmeichel’s services. Ultimately, however, Manchester United does not have a need for Schmeichel is De Gea returns to the club next season. If he doesn’t however, it is always good to have a back up plan when you have as many financial assets as Manchester United possesses. This should be an interesting acquisition storyline to follow just because if he is acquired, it is clear that it means De Gea will be heading home to Real Madrid as mentioned previously.
These transfer rumors are something that fans of Manchester United are very reluctant to talk about. The potential for the captain of the club and the all time leading goal scorer playing somewhere else is a haunting vision for fans of United. The fact of the matter is that Rooney’s age is beginning to show in his game. He has lost a step, as all older players will, and it may be time for Manchester United to look to get something for him. Earlier in the season, there were rumors that Manchester United was working on a transfer to send Rooney to the Chinese Super League before the wheels ultimately fell off of the deal. Now, very recently Wayne Rooney has been tied to a transfer that would send him back to where it all started for him, Everton. The fact of the matter is that Manchester United is starting to plan for life without Wayne Rooney, and it is very possible that this could occur this summer. It is not something that fans of Manchester United or Jose Mourinho for that matter want to hear, but the fact of the matter is that Manchester United is primed to make major strides towards the top of the Premier League table next season with names such as Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba returning. Couple that with potentially having David De Gea return and Neymar joining the club, there is just no place for the captain to play, and it is certainly time for Manchester United to begin shopping Rooney elsewhere.