Newcastle United v Manchester United: Pictures
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On paper, Manchester United enjoyed a brilliant summer transfer window. They signed five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, 2018 World Cup-winning defender Raphael Varane and exciting young winger Jadon Sancho, yet didn’t really solve their general issues.
The acquisition of Varane gave United much-needed stability at the back, and the other aforementioned forwards improved the Red Devils’ quality in the final third.
However, their midfield was the ‘must improve’ position heading into this season, and the inability to sign one proved costly for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Former RB Leipzig boss Ralf Rangnick has made it clear that he intends on signing a holding midfielder in this month’s transfer window, and the manager needs to be must be just as sure when entering negotiations concerning the departure of Anthony Martial.
The Frenchman has made it no secret that he intends on leaving Old Trafford as soon as possible in search of more consistent game time.
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However, rather than receiving a fee for the 26-year-old’s services, Ara have revealed that Barcelona are exploring the possibility of a swap deal involving Ousmane Dembele.
The Frenchman has struggled with inconsistency and an abundance of injuries whilst at the Camp Nou but has still shown glimmers of the player that was signed after being touted as one of the most exciting young players in the world.
Of course, Dembele would be a neat coup for United considering he would replace a player who no longer wants to be at the club, but is he necessary?
Sevilla have also been closely linked with Martial and are thought to be considering tabling an offer for the former Monaco star.
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With the two options on the table, Rangnick must choose the cash over the player.
United have an abundance of talent in the final third and don’t truly need Dembele, especially if they are truly committed to developing Sancho into one of the best wingers in the world.
With Marcus Rashford on the flank and Mason Greenwood and Anthony Elanga waiting in the wings, adding another big fish to the pond will only hinder the progress of those exciting youngsters.
Instead, the Red Devils should opt to prioritise bringing sought after striker Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland to Old Trafford, who they have been heavily linked recently.
The Norwegian has a £68million release clause in his contract that becomes active in the summer, and if United are to close the gap on rivals Manchester City then they need to be front of the line in negotiations with the forward.
Bayern Munich, City, Barcelona and Real Madrid are also amongst the whole host of clubs keen to sign 21-year-old.
With strikers Ronaldo (36) and Edinson Cavani (34) coming to the end of their careers, now is the time for United to invest in a long-term solution – and there will be no one better than Haaland in that department in the coming years.
The former RB Salzburg striker has scored 13 and assisted 14 in 11 Bundesliga appearances so far this season, earning praise for his powerful presence in the final third and clinical finishes.
Selling Martial for even just a cut-price fee, he is valued at £28m by Transfermarkt, would give the club more funds to commit to Haaland whilst also allowing Rangnick to improve the rest of the squad for his predecessor.
Of course, United probably have the financial capabilities to still sign Haaland even if they complete the swap deal for Martial, but it will certainly slow down the progress of Greenwood and co who have been tipped to be the long-term future of the club.
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