Manchester United go into the new season requiring sufficient squad depth to allow them to challenge in both the Champions League and Premier League.
Last season’s Europa League triumph sees them qualify for the continent’s premier competition this time around, despite finishing a disappointing 6th in the Premier League.
Their League Cup win last season added to their trophy haul which also included the Community Shield, but in order to repeat that in the 2017/18 campaign José Mourinho’s side will need to strengthen their squad in this transfer window.
Here we take a look at some of the players most likely to join the club in the coming weeks according to the latest rumours and Football Whispers Index scores.
Romelu Lukaku – Everton – 4.6
A Football Whispers Index score of 4.6 suggests that a deal is close to being done, and the rest of the media are echoing this sentiment.
Lukaku would equip United with a potential league leading goalscorer as they attempt to keep up with the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and local rivals Manchester City, who both have strikers capable of topping the scoring charts.
Lukaku finished four goals behind Harry Kane in last season’s top scorers list, and Mourinho will be hoping for more of the same from the player he sold to Everton while at Chelsea back in 2014, following his loan spell on Merseyside the season before.
Nemanja Matić – Chelsea – 4.0
The rumours linking Matić to United have died down recently but the midfielder is still rated highly in the Football Whispers Index, suggesting that this move could still happen further down the line.
Even though many reports, including this one from the Express, say that the deal taking the Serbian to Old Trafford has hit the rocks, signing the midfielder could prove a wise move for Mourinho who will be looking for a deep-lying player to support and eventually replace Michael Carrick.
The Portuguese manager has worked with Matić before, during their time at Chelsea, and the player could provide good insurance in a defensive midfield position allowing United’s attacking players more freedom with which to work their magic.
The Guardian had previously reported that a deal was close to being done and the player was expected to move to Manchester towards the end of June, but the delay has led to the doubts which have surfaced this week.
Ivan Perišić – Inter Milan – 3.8
The Manchester Evening News recently relayed suggestions from Italian publication La Repubblica that Perišić will force a move to United when he returns to pre-season training at Inter this month.
The press on the continent seem sure that Old Trafford is the 28-year-old Croatian winger’s destination this summer, with German outlet Bild also reporting the story.
Perišić seems like the typical Mourinho winger as not only does he boast a good all-round game — the required pace, plus game intelligence — he also brings a good helping of tenacity and a willingness to help out in defence.
It’s this side of his game that will endear him to the United manager, who Perišić once said he would be “hugely keen and excited” to work with.
However, with 11 league goals and eight assists, Perišić was arguably Inter’s best player last season and the Nerazzurri are reluctant to part ways with the former Borussia Dortmund man. As such, the Serie A side have slapped a whopping €55million price tag on the player which United are yet to meet.
James Rodríguez – Real Madird – 3.4
Wayne Rooney could be returning to his old club as part of the Lukaku deal, and United are eyeing Real Madrid’s Colombian playmaker as a possible upgrade on the Englishman.
Signing both Lukaku and Rodríguez in the same window would excite the fans at Old Trafford, and mean two marquee signings arrive in the same summer.
The Independent report that the club are in “deep talks” with Real Mandid, who are looking to offload a player or two in order to be able to afford Monaco’s Kylian Mbappé.
Rodríguez has played in attacking positions all across the field and can operate in wide areas as well as behind the striker. This type of creative scheming would ease the burden on Juan Mata, and could help Paul Pogba reach double figures in terms of goals from midfield.
Eric Dier – Tottenham Hotspur – 3.0
Doubts surrounding the Matić transfer have led to increased speculation that United will revive their interest in England midfielder Dier.
He is competent in midfield and in the centre of defence, and could be a long-term replacement for the 35-year-old Carrick.
At 23 years old the Spurs man is one of the more attractive options and could spend the best years of his career at whichever club he chooses in the next year. But this will also lead to an inflated transfer fee which, according to The Telegraph, could be well over £50million.
There is also the possibility that the club could sign both Dier and Matić, but as it would cost them the best part of £100million to do so, there might need to be some outgoings to balance the books first.
Mourinho is a manager known for solidifying his midfield and defence and building his teams around this. Dier and Matić both fit this mould.