Manchester United are reportedly ready to bid £23.3 million for Sassuolo's Domenico Berardi. The Old Trafford club will also monitor developments at Real Madrid, where a trio of stars, including ex-United talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, could reportedly be made available this summer.
But before dipping into the riches on offer in the Spanish capital, the Red Devils apparently want to take one of Serie A's brightest youngsters. Italian source Tuttomercatoweb (h/t Liam Corless of the Daily Mirror) has reported United will offer £23.3 million to convince Sassuolo to ignore interest from European heavyweights Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
That's a lavish sum, but Berardi has caught the eye this season. A skilled attacker, the 21-year-old has contributed six goals and a trio of assists in Serie A action, according to WhoScored.com.
But neither United nor any of the other mooted suitors may get their chance to sign Berardi. His agent recently told Calciomercato.com (h/t Football-Italia.net) that Serie A giants Juventus have an agreement in place to sign the forward: “It’s true, there is a kind of gentlemen’s agreement with the Bianconeri. This doesn’t mean that he will join them for sure in June. It will be up to the player to choose."
Of course, the real question is whether or not United even need another wide forward. The current squad features Memphis Depay, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard.
All three can operate from the flanks or through the middle, and United made major investments in both Martial and Depay last summer.
But creating chances and finding the net hasn't always come easy for the Red Devils in the Premier League this season. Manager Louis van Gaal's team has scored just 36 times in England's top flight, per the division's official site.
Adding some more pace and creativity to a fluid forward line could arrest those problems.
Real Madrid Trio Reportedly Available
Recent reports from Spain claim Los Blancos are ready to part ways with Ronaldo, centre-back Sergio Ramos and attacking midfielder James Rodriguez.
Journalist Pipi Estrada of Spanish television show El Chiringuito (h/t Goal's Chris Davie) reported both Ronaldo and Ramos "went to Madrid president Florentino Perez after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid and asked to leave the club this summer."
But the reports claimed Perez attempted to talk free-scoring talisman Ronaldo down.
If the Portuguese powerhouse does force a move away, United would surely be keen. Ronaldo's goals helped the Reds win a hat-trick of Premier League titles, as well as a UEFA Champions League trophy, during his stint in Manchester.
Rumours of a return have been fairly regular. Spanish publication AS (h/t Metro's Will Giles) has even recently claimed Ronaldo wants to work with former Madrid boss Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford, should the latter succeed Van Gaal this summer.
Links between United and Ramos were particularly strong last summer, with the Premier League club apparently believing they were about to sign the decorated defender, according to Jeremy Cross of the Daily Star.
Will Ronaldo ever play for United again?
One more Madrid player reportedly on the United radar is mercurial playmaker Rodriguez, per Spanish source AS (h/t the Independent's Jack de Menezes): "Rodriguez has caught the eye of Manchester United in the past."
United certainly need some natural flair in midfield. Spaniard Juan Mata can provide it, but he can't carry the burden by himself. Rodriguez has the eye for goal from midfield the Reds have lacked for too long.
At the moment though, it's developments in Madrid that must come first. If United miss out on Champions League football for the second time in three years, the club may struggle to tempt Madrid's apparent wantaway and unwanted stars.
It's also likely the Manchester club may not want to wait on the chaos clearing in Madrid before planning their transfer-based rebuild ahead of next season.