Manchester United gave a prudent display of their strength in depth when they brushed off Derby County without breaking a sweat in a pre-season friendly on Sunday. The Red Devils were missing most of their first-team stars as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fielded a youthful side, yet came away with a comfortable 2-1 victory. However, the Norwegian is aware that his starting eleven needs improvement and is planning for reinforcements over the summer.
Manchester United are targeting a central defender to plug the gaps at the back. The Red Devils might also have to decide the future of some of their current stars, who are attracting attention from potential suitors.
On that note, let’s look at the major Manchester United transfer stories from 19 July 2021.
Manchester United preparing £39m initial bid for Raphael Varane
Manchester United are preparing a £39m initial bid for Raphael Varane, according to The Express via AS. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made the Frenchman his primary defensive target this summer and is eager to prize him away from Real Madrid. The Red Devils have apparently agreed personal terms with the 28-year-old and are locked in negotiations with Los Blancos for a deal. The Premier League giants are now ready to submit their first offer to the La Liga giants.
The report states that Manchester United are offering £35m upfront for Varane, and are willing to include add-ons in the form of bonuses worth £4m. That might not be up to Real Madrid’s liking, because Los Blancos are hoping to generate around £60m from the Frenchman’s departure. However, the fact that Varane is in the final year of his contract and is unwilling to sign a new deal, could force the hands of the La Liga giants.
Barcelona working on a swap deal for midfield maestro
Barcelona are working on a swap deal for Paul Pogba, according to The Express via Mundo Deportivo. The Frenchman’s current contract with Manchester United is set to expire next summer and despite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s desire to build a team around Pogba, the player could leave this summer. The Catalans want to make a blockbuster signing in this window and have earmarked the Frenchman as the ideal candidate.
However, Barcelona do not have the funds to pay for the move and will instead offer Manchester United a player in return. It is unclear which of their current stars the Catalans are willing to let go and whether the Red Devils are ready to accept such an offer.
Manchester United turn down loan offer for Dean Henderson
Manchester United have turned down a loan offer for Dean Henderson from Wolverhampton Wanderers, according to Caught Offside via The Athletic. Wolves have been searching for a goalkeeper since the departure of Rui Patricio to AS Roma and are interested in the Englishman. However, the Red Devils have rejected the proposal and have told Henderson that he is wanted at Old Trafford.
There has been an intense battle for the Manchester United No. 1 slot between the Englishman and David De Gea over the last few months and it could continue well into the new season.