Manchester United Transfer News: Examining Latest Rumours

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistDecember 5, 2016

FRANKFURT, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 26: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Borussia Dortmund disappointed after the Bundesliga match between Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Dortmund at Commerzbank Arena on November 26, 2016 in Frankfurt, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Manchester United target Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang has offered a cryptic response when asked if he might leave Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund. United have reportedly been monitoring the prolific striker's situation, along with Premier League rivals Manchester City and Arsenal.

The Daily Mirror's James Whaling revealed how Aubameyang left the door ajar when asked about his future: "I don't know if I will stay. I just think about playing good football right now. I want to give my best and win titles. I just think about the sport and nothing else."

Whaling also noted how both "United and City have both been keeping tabs on the 2015 African Footballer of the Year while Arsenal made an enquiry during the summer."

United and Premier League rivals such as Arsenal are reportedly keen on Aubameyang.
United and Premier League rivals such as Arsenal are reportedly keen on Aubameyang.Boris Streubel/Getty Images

This isn't the first time United have been named as a keen suitor for 27-year-old Aubameyang. Back in October, Anthony Kastrinakis of the Sun named United as one of a number of clubs, along with the Gunners and La Liga giants Real Madrid, who registered interest at the end of last season.

The Red Devils were even credited with making their interest known back in April, per MailOnline's Jack Gaughan. In fact, Gaughan also detailed how the Manchester club's interest went back even further: "They have watched Aubameyang since the striker netted against Arsenal in the Champions League two years ago."

Such strong interest in Aubameyang makes sense considering his status as one of the deadliest finishers in Europe. It's a reputation he recently cemented by making history in Germany's top flight, according to OptaFranz:

Aubameyang has gone from a winger with pitch-stretching pace to a clever and nuanced, modern centre-forward. He's become craftier with both his movement and finishing on Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel's watch.

Those are qualities United would surely welcome up top. Manager Jose Mourinho has been content to rely on Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but the Swedish target man is 35. Youngsters Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are options, but Mourinho has deployed them mostly as wingers.

Aubameyang would be a major upgrade in United's attack. However, the Red Devils would surely need to secure UEFA Champions League football for next season to stay ahead of the queue of Europe's top clubs also keen on the striker.

      

Victor Lindelof Happy at Benfica

Another target Mourinho may find difficult to bring to Old Trafford is Benfica centre-back Victor Lindelof. The Sweden international is reportedly content at Benfica, according to his agent, Hasan Cetinakaya.

Lindelof is said to be happy to stay at Benfica.
Lindelof is said to be happy to stay at Benfica.Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

He recently told Portuguese publication A Bola (h/t MailOnline's Kieran Gill) how his client isn't interested in a move to United: "There are many clubs interested in signing Lindelof too, but he's happy at Benfica at the moment and doesn't want to leave."

United have been heavily linked with Lindelof in recent weeks. The Daily Record's Duncan Castles (h/t the Daily Mirror) even reported the Old Trafford club have opened talks over a January deal for the defender worth up to £50 million.

United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic also talked up Lindelof's ability to make a move to a bigger club, according to Stuart Mathieson of the Manchester Evening News: "Is he good enough for United? I think he's good enough for the big clubs out there."

United have been looking for upgrades at centre-back with question marks surrounding several options, including Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo, per the Daily Mirror's David McDonnell.

Lindelof makes sense as a target, even if he may be tougher to get than decision-makers at Old Trafford initially thought.