Three players Manchester United can target instead of Philippe Coutinho
Fox Sports has reported that Manchester United are set to make a move for FC Barcelona superstar Philippe Coutinho with an offer of around £178 million. However, that deal is never going to happen, given the fact that Barcelona chased Liverpool for six months before the Reds finally gave in.
Considering their links to multiple other stars from around the world, Manchester United should just make a move for someone else. That said, here are three players the Red Devils can target instead of Coutinho.
#3 Isco Alarcon
Isco might be struggling and unhappy but he is still a world-class attacking midfielder for both Real Madrid and Spain. Now with the transfer window open, Isco has two choices – either move on or fight for a place at the Santiago Bernabeu. Things could get complicated since the likes of Arsenal (h/t The Mirror), Manchester United (h/t Daily Express), Juventus (h/t Calciomercato) and even PSG (h/t Marca) after him.
The question, however, is despite all of Isco’s talent, can and will the 26-year-old flourish in a physically tougher Premier League? It takes no prisoners and as Mesut Ozil, Angel Di Maria and many others have realized, it’s a tough place to play in.
But then again, the Spaniard is a game-changing star to have, with the ability to influence and change the course of a game single-handedly.
#2 Nabil Fekir
He finished last season with 21 goals and a further 7 assists and yet Liverpool hesitated to make a £53million move (via the Telegraph) for Nabil Fekir. This season, despite being dropped for 7 games, Fekir has still contributed to 11 goals in 17 appearances which include five in the Champions League.
His abilities on the ball and eye for goal is incredible but it’s his injury issues that may stop any suitors in the near future. But if Fekir manages to stay fit and keeps doing what he does best, it’s only time before he makes a big money move elsewhere with Lyon struggling to keep their best stars.
With that in mind, why shouldn’t Manchester United jump in the race for the Frenchman? After all, he would be much cheaper than Coutinho.
#1 Paulo Dybala
There won’t be anyone else topping this list as long as Paulo Dybala is still at Juventus proving himself. While he has struggled this season in the Serie A, Dybala’s performances in the Champions League has shown that he’s second to only a few players in the world. Even more so after he showcased what he could do the last term, finishing the season with 26 goals and 7 assists in all competitions.
Now with Barcelona (h/t Calciomercato) re-igniting their interest in the 25-year-old and Manchester City (h/t Sky Sports) also interested in Paulo Dybala’s signature, things could get interesting. However, if Manchester United want a world-class attacking midfielder/second striker, there are few players better than Paulo Dybala.
Arsenal plotting an audacious swoop to sign this 27-year-old Real Madrid dynamo would solve Emery’s wing woes
Arsenal Opinion: Why the Gunners should make a move for Lucas Vazquez
Zinedine Zidane is expected to swing the axe after a dismal 2018/19 campaign at the Santiago Bernabeu, with some players expected to be sold after a rare trophy-less campaign for the Spanish heavyweights. But Lucas Vazquez is one player Zidane will be desperate to keep hold of.
The report claim Arsenal aren’t the only club interested in the Spanish international. Liverpool are also in the running for the winger, who managed 47 appearances across all competitions last season, bagging five goals and four assists.
Arsenal were ever so close to returning to the Champions League but some really poor performances during the business end of the campaign coupled with the chastening defeat at the hands of Chelsea in the Europa League final in Baku ruined their chances of a return to Europe’s most elite competition. Unai Emery faces a big summer transfer window ahead of him and he’ll have to recruit smartly from the limited funds allocated to him.
The Gunners desperately need a couple of wide players, with Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan being deployed there at times despite not being natural wingers. And as expected, they haven’t delivered the goods, while the team’s only natural wide-man in Alex Iwobi has blown hot and cold. Thus, Emery has to solve the issue ahead of the new campaign and a player like Lucas Vazquez would fit the bill perfectly at the Emirates.
A right-winger by trade, Vazquez also operates as a right-back and right wing-back at Madrid when required, which shows his versatility. The 27-year-old has pace and energy in abundance that allows him to beat his marker. He is also a decent dribbler and is an excellent outlet to have during counter-attacking threats.
The Spaniard may not be the most technically gifted player but his commitment, energy, desire and work ethic are second to none. Vazquez’s work-rate and versatility will definitely be pleasing to Unai Emery and his ability to have a real impact in the forward areas of the pitch will bolster the Gunners’ chances of challenging the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool for the Premier League title.
Not to forget, Vazquez has also won three Champions League titles with Madrid. So, his experience and winning attitude in the Arsenal dressing room would come handy.
Vazquez would be an excellent addition to the Arsenal side that has been over-reliant on the services of their two centre-forwards.
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The Spanish international’s work-rate, experience, winning mentality and versatility would make him a real asset at the Emirates and hence, Arsenal must do everything possible to beat Liverpool to the 27-year-old’s signature.
West Ham would strike gold by reviving interest in this 26-year-old La Liga ace – only if Issa Diop chooses to exit
West Ham Opinion: Why the Hammers should go for Ibrahim Amadou?
Manchester United are desperate to add a centre-back to their team this summer and Diop is the latest player they have been linked to.
The French defender had a great first season in the Premier League with West Ham and has caught the attention of United, who are rebuilding their squad under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after a disappointing sixth-placed finish last season.
The Hammers don’t want to sell Diop, who arrived at the London stadium from Toulouse last summer, and are demanding £75million to ward off the Red Devils’ interest, the report adds. However, given United’s absolute necessity to sign a central defender, there is a chance of them forking out such a huge amount to prise the defender away to Old Trafford.
Hence, Manuel Pellegrini would be wise to start plotting potential replacements for Diop, who is understood to be close to a call-up to the France squad. Given the current situation, West Ham should reignite their interest in Sevilla defender Ibrahim Amadou.
Back in January 2018, the Birmingham Mail reported that West Ham were interested in signing Ibrahim Amadou, who was then plying his trade for LOSC Lille. But a move didn’t materialise then and Amadou went onto join Sevilla last summer.
The French defender, 26, had an injury-hit debut campaign with Sevilla where he managed just 17 appearances in the La Liga. In all, he made 32 appearances and scored a goal. Amadou was mostly used in his preferred position—defensive midfield—but he is also adept at playing in central defence.
The 26-year-old is a versatile player, who is strong, powerful and aerially excellent with good technical abilities. A robust, hard-working and tenacious customer on the pitch, Amadou has the ability to control the game with his good range of passing and game-reading when deployed in the holding midfielder’s role.
As a centre-back, he uses his no-nonsense approach to keep things tight, which makes him a good fit for either role.
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West Ham have already signed three players so far this summer as Pellegrini looks to break into the top six next season. And with Diop on the radar of Manchester United, the Hammers must think of potentially replacing him with Amadou.
The addition of an experienced and dynamic defender like Amadou, who can add a little bit of freshness to the backline, could be exactly what Pellegrini’s side needs this summer.
23 goals, 17 assists – Here’s why Man Utd must rekindle interest in this 27-year-old ace with €18m release clause
Manchester United Opinion: Why Man United must go for Pablo Sarabia?
Manchester United’s rebuild under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is finally up and running, as the club completed the signing of Wales winger Daniel James from Swansea City on Wednesday.
James, 21, signed a five-year contract at Old Trafford, with the option to extend by a further year, to become manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first signing in charge of the Red Devils.
The Reds’ disappointing sixth-placed finish last season has now led to a renewed desire to improve the squad in certain areas, as they finished a massive 31 and 32 points behind top two Liverpool and Manchester City respectively. It will take a lot of spending from United to catch up with either of their rivals.
Scoring goals became a big problem in the final stages of the 2018/19 campaign and apparently was one of the reasons why United couldn’t qualify for the Champions League when they had every chance to do so. The likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Romelu Lukaku struggled to pierce well-drilled defences, while Solskjaer lacked a ‘Plan B’ from the bench.
Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata weren’t effective and Alexis Sanchez continued to be a shadow of his former self. Regardless of signing James, the Red Devils still need more firepower up front and an out-and-out right winger is the need of the hour.
Last year, the Express claimed United were interested in Sevilla star Pablo Sarabia. However, a deal didn’t materialise but the Premier League giants must reignite their interest in the wide playmaker and sign him this summer.
Pablo Sarabia, 27, enjoyed a fantastic season with Sevilla as he bagged 23 goals and 17 assists in 52 games across all competitions. However, he is out of contract next summer and could be cashed in during this transfer window. Given his form and cheap release clause, €18 million, United must quickly sign him from the Spanish outfit.
In Sarabia, Solskjaer would get a player who has many qualities including his ability to create chances from open play and set pieces. Roaming in between the lines within the attacking third, he is good with the ball at his feet and playing his way out of tight spaces. From the right, the Spaniard likes to cut inside on his stronger left foot and unleash ferocious shots towards goal.
Playing centrally or on the right side of his team’s attack, he has proven himself as a fleet-footed dribbler who can work himself into dangerous areas before creating threatening opportunities for his team. Sarabia is a natural finisher in front of goal and has the knack of finding the back of the net from long range.
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Furthermore, the ex-Getafe man’s movement off the ball is absolutely fantastic which makes him a very tricky player to mark. The Red Devils could certainly benefit from such a creative influence in the final third of the pitch.
United have lacked a quality right-sided attacker for some time now and Sarabia can solve this problem for them. At 27, he is playing at his prime and could take Solskjaer’s side to the next level in the 2019/20 campaign.
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