Manchester United's Squad Revamp to Begin as Daniel James Bid Moves Closer

Dean Jones@DeanJonesBRFootball Insider at Bleacher ReportMay 17, 2019

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 6: Coach of Manchester United Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Romelu Lukaku of Manchester United celebrate the victory following the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Manchester United at Parc des Princes stadium on March 6, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Manchester United's plan for a summer overhaul has seen the rumour mill shift into overdrive. The transfer window only opened on Thursday, yet Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have already been linked with more than 20 targets from across Europe.

Robert Lewandowsi has become the latest name touted for a move to Old Trafford, though early indications to Bleacher Report suggest he will also be offered to most top sides in Europe over the coming weeks.

However, United's transfer business is going to become a major focus over the summer and separating fact from fiction is going to become tricky—as they could look to change half of the regular starting XI.

Atletico Madrid's Jan Oblak has been mooted as the next United goalkeeper, while Crystal Palace's Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire of Leicester City and Napoli rock Kalidou Koulibaly are being tipped as options to shore up the defence.

Paris Saint-Germain's Adrien Rabiot and Declan Rice of West Ham United have both been suggested as figures to bolster midfield; and Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, Lille ace Nicolas Pepe and Real Madrid's frustrated galactico Gareth Bale are possibilities to bring new flair to the Reds.

United are starting to take aim on targets for their revamp quickly, as it is understood they intend to get to work now so the squad is largely settled by the time pre-season gets under way. But there are some names who should be taken more seriously than others at this stage.

          

Daniel James from Swansea City

One name B/R has been told to pay attention to among the transfer rumours is Daniel James, the Swansea City forward who is emerging as one of the most exciting figures in the English leagues.

SWANSEA, WALES - FEBRUARY 17: Daniel James of Swansea City celebrates scoring his side's second goal during the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Swansea City and Brentford at the Liberty Stadium on February 17, 2019 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Athena Pic
Athena Pictures/Getty Images

The Wales international caught the eye with impressive displays in the Championship and FA Cup this season, and he fits the vision Solskjaer has of signing talented youngsters with huge potential but who can also make an immediate impact.

Alexis Sanchez epitomises everything that was wrong about United's transfer policy in recent times, and while Sancho of Borussia Dortmund has been targeted despite a price tag of almost £100 million, James is far more likely to head through the door at Old Trafford.

Aged 21, he has featured primarily on the left side of Swansea's attack but can play anywhere across the front line—and that versatility has impressed United's recruitment staff.

Initial contact has been made, and there is a belief a deal could be completed for a total fee of less than £15 million. 

            

Fixing the Mess in Midfield 

United are also undoubtedly in the market for a new midfielder this summer, and Tanguy Ndombele is someone who has been thoroughly analysed.

Uncertainty over Paul Pogba's future could yet lead to him heading for La Liga, and Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera bring further problems that the Old Trafford club need to act upon.

Lyon's French midfielder Tanguy Ndombele (L) vies with Bordeaux's Guinean forward Francois Kamano (R) during the French L1 football match between Bordeaux (FCGB) and Lyon (OL) on April 26, 2019 at the Matmut Atlantique stadium in Bordeaux, southwestern Fr
NICOLAS TUCAT/Getty Images

One of the best destructive ball-playing midfield players in Europe, Ndombele would be allowed to move on from Lyon for around £70 million. 

Juventus had been very hopeful of a clear run at signing the 22-year-old early in the window, and they have had positive encouragement in early discussions. Yet sources have indicated to B/R that the Italian champions have become concerned over the past week that a potential battle with United for his signature is on the cards.

While United can take more of a risk on emerging talent in forward positions, that will not be the case elsewhere. Ndombele played 47 games last season, including eight in the Champions League, and he seems worthy of a major transfer. 

Juve remain hopeful their Champions League status helps land the France international, but they believe Manchester City have still not completely dismissed the idea of making an offer. There is also a feeling United will look to make a serious statement in the middle of the park.

          

Lukaku and Sanchez Heading for Italy?

The signing of Sanchez is being used as an example of what United will try not to repeat this summer.

They are desperately trying to offload the Chilean and his significant wages, with the player being heavily linked with a move to Serie A, with both Juventus and Inter Milan touted as a future home.

HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - MAY 05: Alexis Sanchez of Manchester United leaves the field through injury during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Manchester United at John Smith's Stadium on May 05, 2019 in Huddersfield, United Kingdom. (P
Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

There is some truth to it, but B/R sources are convinced fellow forward Romelu Lukaku is also attracting serious interest from Italy.

The Belgium international has always fancied the prospect of testing himself in the league and is open to options at a time when United's squad is set for a major shake-up. 

It is believed to be Inter Milan that are making contact over a deal for Lukaku, as they plan for the possible exit of Mauro Icardi. At this stage, though, sources concede it could be a difficult transfer to complete.

While Bayern Munich are also a potential landing spot, United will be keen to recoup most of the £75 million they paid to Everton for him in July 2017.

Related

    De Jong to Wear Barca No. 21

    New signing gets same number he had at Ajax

    World Football logo
    World Football

    De Jong to Wear Barca No. 21

    New signing gets same number he had at Ajax

    Fcbarcelona
    via Fcbarcelona

    Arsenal Close on Everton Soares

    Report says Gunners sent doctors to Brazil for a medical

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Arsenal Close on Everton Soares

    Report says Gunners sent doctors to Brazil for a medical

    Calciomercato.com | Tutte le news sul calcio in tempo reale
    via Calciomercato.com | Tutte le news sul calcio in tempo reale

    Maguire Tells Leicester He Wants to Leave

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Maguire Tells Leicester He Wants to Leave

    Sky Sports
    via Sky Sports

    Overmars: Sell Ozil, Buy Ziyech

    Arsenal legend says Ajax star is 'better than' Ozil

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Overmars: Sell Ozil, Buy Ziyech

    Arsenal legend says Ajax star is 'better than' Ozil

    Sky Sports
    via Sky Sports