As their focus has swung wildly from Marko Arnautovic to Adrien Rabiot in recent days, Manchester United’s summer transfer strategy has started to look increasingly unstrategic. In the words of Roy Keane on Sunday: “My goodness. What’s going on?”
Having spent so much of the summer fruitlessly toiling over Frenkie de Jong, their scramble for reinforcements in the middle of the park could end up with them landing on Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. United’s record of signing midfielders from Lazio is mixed, as Juan Sebastián Verón can attest. Torino goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic, Sergej’s brother, was briefly on the books at Old Trafford, so at least they can get a decent character reference. He may not have the fondest memories of that period of his career, however, given that he couldn’t get a work permit and failed to make an appearance for the club.
Over in Spain they seem to think that United would rather sign Guido Rodríguez from Real Betis, who will settle for nothing less than €25m (£21.1m) for the Argentina international. That’s just the three midfielders – four, if we’re still counting De Jong – they are chasing at the moment, then.
In better news for United, they may have found a buyer for Eric Bailly. According to L’Équipe, Monaco are keen to sign the injury-hampered defender. That’s where the good news ends, unfortunately. It looks like RB Leipzig are going to beat United to Benjamin Sesko, the promising teenage forward who plays for fellow energy drink marketing vehicle RB Salzburg.
Going back to the theme of midfielders, Liverpool could be in for Marcelo Brozovic following injuries to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Thiago Alcântara. Internazionale don’t want to sell their musclebound enforcer, but might be tempted by an offer which includes Roberto Firmino or Naby Keïta.
Elsewhere, West Ham have made enquiries about Thilo Kehrer as a potential replacement for the outgoing Issa Diop. Paris Saint-Germain want around £17m for the defender, who can play at either centre-back or full-back.
If David Moyes was still hoping to add Filip Kostic to his ranks, then he’s set to be disappointed. The Eintracht Frankfurt full-back is nearing a move to Juventus who, in one of the day’s more outlandish rumours, are apparently considering whether to ask United for Scott McTominay in exchange for Rabiot.
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s frantic supermarket sweep shows little sign of slowing down. They are £10m short of Leicester’s valuation for Wesley Fofana as things stand, while they are still pushing to sign De Jong and Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang. They should at least be able to offload Timo Werner soon, medicals permitting. He is inching closer to a return to Leipzig, with Chelsea set to recoup €20m (£16.9m) of their original, much larger, investment.