Manchester United is still on the lookout for top talent this summer.
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The final year of a player’s contract is often a hugely uncertain period for both himself and the club. Moves will usually be made to try and negotiate extensions, providing the club want to maintain the player’s services.
If one is not possible, then pushing for a sale becomes a priority to prevent the asset from being lost 12 months later. And it’s at this moment when rivals can often profit and potentially land targets for a reduced fee.
Sadio Mane’s recent move to Bayern Munich is a prime example of this situation. The Senegal international star, who scored 23 goals last season for Liverpool, is widely considered to be one of Europe’s best forward players. However, the German champions landed him for a fee of just £35million, way below his market value.
Reds had to accept this offer because the 30-year-old Liverpool player was only allowed one year of remand on his Liverpool contract.
Manchester United has many other stars who are in their final year of their contracts. This could be a good opportunity for them to make a profit, as they need to strengthen a variety of positions. This is why Mirror FootballThe article highlighted three players that could be signed cheaply in the lead up to the new season.
Kalidou Koulibaly, Napoli
Koulibaly used to be considered the best central defender in the world at one point. Although it’s now accepted the likes of Virgil van Dijk have surpassed the 31-year-old, he’s still a top defender that’d have the potential to have a transformational impact on United’s leaky defence next season.
While he is a strong competitor in air and floor combat, he can also dominate attackers while remaining calm and composed in his possession. In his prime, there was talk of fees in excess of £60m to secure his signature, but now with just 12 months left on his current Napoli deal, United could land him for half that.
Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace
While the former United player attempted to convince Crystal Palace on multiple occasions, it was not possible.
He’s still one of the Premier League ’s best attackers and finished last season having scored 14 Premier League goals. He’s now hit double figures in three of his last four seasons, which is impressive given he’s been playing for a Palace side that hasn’t always been the most fluid from an attacking point of view.
He turns 30 in November, meaning he wouldn’t be worthy of a heavy investment at this stage of his career. However, with United’s need for more quality attackers. He’d definitely be an upgrade on what they have if they could land him for cheap this summer. He may even enjoy the challenge of seeing what could have been.
Marco Asensio – Real Madrid
Another attacker who should be firmly on United’s radar is Real Madrid’s Asensio. He scored 12 goals and had two assists last season. While that looks a decent if unremarkable return at first glance, it’s worth noting that the 26-year-old wasn’t a regular for Carlo Ancelotti.
It is actually quite remarkable that these combined contributions come out at 0.55. That means he scored/assisted at a rate greater than one in every two games.
Asensio, unlike others, boasts that he is at the peak of his career. It might still take around £30m to land him, however the same would represent a worthwhile investment based on his age and current ability.