Influencers Pick the Deadline-Day Deals Manchester United Should Hijack

Paul AnsorgeFeatured ColumnistAugust 30, 2017

Alexis Sanchez was left disappointed after Arsenal's 4-0 loss to Liverpool on Sunday.
Alexis Sanchez was left disappointed after Arsenal's 4-0 loss to Liverpool on Sunday.ANTHONY DEVLIN/Getty Images

The summer transfer window is coming to an end, and Manchester United fans can be happy with the business that has been done. But, of the big deals rumoured to be on the cards in the next few days that do not involve the Red Devils, which ones should United attempt to stick their oar into?

Is there anyone out there who might be going somewhere else that executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and manager Jose Mourinho should be moving heaven and earth to bring to Old Trafford instead?

We spoke to bloggers, journalists, YouTubers and tweeters to see who they thought United should grab before the transfer window closes at 11 p.m. BST on Thursday.

This is a time when things move fast, so some of this could change quickly; at the time of writing, though, these are the deals United fans and influencers think their club should hijack—and a common theme was quickly established.


Sanchez would seem a good fit for a Mourinho side.
Sanchez would seem a good fit for a Mourinho side.Pavel Golovkin/Associated Press

Greg Johnson: Features editor at

Twitter: @gregianjohnson

Best deal to hijack: Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City

If Mourinho still wants to upgrade his options on the left, then the answer is obvious: Alexis Sanchez.

Manchester City have reportedly made a player-plus-cash offer, with Raheem Sterling dangled as a sweetener to seal the deal before deadline day, per Jamie Jackson of the Guardian.

In 2012, another star forward left Arsenal for Manchester, and it was United that won the race to sign him. Robin van Persie proved to be the difference-maker as Sir Alex Ferguson bowed out in style with another Premier League title under his belt.

Sanchez could have a similar effect on the shape of the title race this season. A supremely driven, overly demanding workaholic who refuses to rest even when injured, he is a Mourinho player through and through. And while City can offer Sterling to Arsenal as part-exchange, think who United could send in his place.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger hasn't been shy about the players he covets at Old Trafford. Send him offcuts such as Chris Smalling to sort out his defence, and if Mourinho is skeptical about Anthony Martial's worth, get him on the agenda, too.

The Frenchman is a supreme talent, but in a fantasy scenario where United can hijack one deal, the chance to stop City getting Sanchez while weaponising their left flank with one of the world's best wingers is a no-brainer.


Bale in training for Wales.
Bale in training for Wales.Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Zarah Connolly: Freelance presenter

Twitter: @ZarahConnolly

Best deal to hijack: Gareth Bale to...wherever

Rumours are circling that multiple clubs are going for Welsh lad Gareth Bale, per Marca (h/t Daily Express). Tell you what, my money is on a club like City going for him because they know United and Real Madrid don't like making deals together.

I'm hoping United hijack that deal and step in before they do. Bale would have a huge impact on the squad because, while we are inundated with attacking players at the moment, people are forgetting we've got different competitions to play in. He'll be class in the UEFA Champions League fixtures.

If injuries come our way this season (which is likely due to our new attacking style) we'll need him. Other people have complained that he's injured a lot etc., but United fans will vouch for the fact Robin van Persie was a phenomenal player who was crucial in our Premier League title races. Although he was injured one season, he was world-class the next—I'm hoping Bale will have that exact impact (Obviously I'm hoping he's not too injured though).


Alex Porter: Deputy Manchester United editor at Manchester Evening News

Twitter: @alexportermen

Best deal to hijack: Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City

United have shown little interest, and Arsenal may not sell ahead of deadline day, but Alexis Sanchez would be a quality addition at Old Trafford.

A hugely talented player currently hampered by a floundering team, he can play in a variety of positions across the front line, adds an injection of creativity and has won trophies beforeincluding La Liga with Barcelona and the Copa America with Chile.

Plus, as an added bonus for Mourinho and United fans, a successful bid would upset Arsenal, Wenger, City and City manager Pep Guardiola.


Surely the return of Angel Di Maria couldn't happen? Could it?
Surely the return of Angel Di Maria couldn't happen? Could it?Alastair Grant/Associated Press/Associated Press

ManUtd24: Former blogger, prominent United tweeter

Twitter: @ManUtd24

Best deal to hijack: Angel Di Maria to Barcelona

This might not go down well, but...Angel Di Maria. United need more creativity in midfield—and don't have it if Paul Pogba is injured—and also need numbers out wide.

One injury in that position (for example, to Martial or Marcus Rashford) will leave United with just one substitute player and nothing in the reserves (apart from Ashley Young). 


Sam Homewood: Presenter, Full Time DEVILS

Twitter:  @SamHomewood

Best deal to hijack: Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City

Sanchez to City. Ruin it; get him. Mourinho's United look great, but he's a player of such talent that if he's leaving Arsenal, we should make sure he comes to Old Trafford.


Spoiling Liverpool's day by swiping Thomas Lemar could be a fun move for United.
Spoiling Liverpool's day by swiping Thomas Lemar could be a fun move for United.Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Musa Okwonga: ESPN columnist

Twitter: @Okwonga

Best deal to hijack: Thomas Lemar to Liverpool

On their day, Liverpool have the most devastating forward line in the Premier League, and they may be about to add a player who could become its jewel. Thomas Lemar, still only 21, may join them from AS Monaco, per James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo, and there aren't many young attackers more gifted.

He has already torn through several Champions League defences, and he is precisely the player United need on their left flank, where width will otherwise continue to be a problem against teams who sit deep.

Youth, speed, strength, dribbling brilliance and footballing intelligence, assists and goals—Lemar has it all and will do for several years to come


Adam McKola: Youtuber, Full Time DEVILS and Adam McKola TV

Twitter: @AdamMckola

YouTube: Adam McKola TV

Best deal to hijack: Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City

Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City. This would be the most entertaining for lots of reasons.

One, we would take a player from under the noses of City (assuming he is going to join them). Two, we would take an Arsenal player—just imagine the meltdown. Three, it'd be Van Persie all over again and we'd win the league.

I'd prefer him to stay at Arsenal because they're not great even with him, but if he joined Man City it could be a huge move for them and would improve on an already potent attack.

I feel the title race is between the Manchester clubs and Chelsea, so getting one over both of them in the same transfer window would be amazing.


A left-field shout: Demarai Gray.
A left-field shout: Demarai Gray.Michael Regan/Getty Images

Elijah Sofoluke: Blogger

Twitter: @MrScripto

Best deal to hijack: Demarai Gray to Bournemouth 

I think one deal that United should be looking to hijack is Bournemouth's move for Demarai Gray of Leicester City, per Phil Cadden of The Sun.

A fleet-footed winger who enjoys going on the outside as much as he does on the inside is something United are in dire need of, and if anything has stood out negatively in our three wins thus far, it has been the lack of a player to do that.

Gray on the right would provide the width the United manager has been crying out for, and he is another player who would provide the pace so readily associated with a Mourinho team in counter-attacking transitions.


Iwan Lehnert: Co-host, Red Voices podcast 

Twitter: @IwanLehnert

Best deal to hijack: Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City

The obvious suggestion here would be for United to gazump any potential deal that City may wish to complete for Sanchez.

He's an ideal player for Mourinho; all energy, effort and skill, with the capability to create a goal out of nothing. Those key attributes combined with their shared will to win make this an ideal match, if United wish to pursue the former Barcelona forward.


Jordan Clarke: Writer

Twitter: @FourFourJordan

Best deal to hijack: Thomas Lemar to Liverpool

It would have to be AS Monaco's Thomas Lemar. Manchester United haven't done too badly by signing French wingers from Les Monegasques before, and many would welcome the addition of the 21-year-old.

His versatility, which allows him to play on either wing but also as a No. 8 or No. 10, would provide Mourinho with the chance to deploy him wherever he wishes, something the United boss would make the most of in big games.


Would the banner get thrown in as part of the deal?
Would the banner get thrown in as part of the deal?Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Scott Patterson: Republik of Mancunia

Twitter: @R_o_M

Best deal to hijack: Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City

Alexis Sanchez: He's not the sort of player we are desperate for, but if a player of his quality is available, then we should be going for it.

It would stop a dangerous player from joining one of our rivals, but mainly because he is class and could make all the difference for us in front of goal. It would be exciting to watch him in our shirt every week. 

A hijacking to relive the glory days.
A hijacking to relive the glory days.Stu Forster/Getty Images

Steve Burns: Co-founder, Special Gun Productions

Twitter: @TheSteveBurnio

Best deal to hijack: Any available hijackings

Of all the things that have changed since the end of the Fergie era, one of the most heartbreaking is that you don't see any proper, high-profile hijackings from United anymore.

Hijacking is one of those hyperbolic football sayings, like "war chest" or "financial fair play" that has little to do with the reality of the thing it's meant to describe. Not so with Ferguson.

Remember Dimitar Berbatov at the airport? Or Roy Keane allegedly being snatched from Blackburn Rovers after verbally agreeing a deal with them, causing some, erm, choice words from Kenny Dalglish?

Part of the joy of a hijacking is the sheer, white-hot rage it causes in other fans, particularly if the move seems motivated to annoy. So, if we can't get Kylian Mbappe (offer him £20 million a week, why not?), then it's got to be Jonny Evans, of course.


Thank you to everyone who gave their time to talk to us about this. Sanchez was clearly the most popular option. If United pull that off, there will be a lot of happy supporters out there.

Quotations obtained firsthand.