Manchester United will face fierce resistance should they pursue their reported interest in Milan rising star Stephan El Shaarawy. The 19-year-old has been linked with a move to United after making an impressive start to the new season.
After Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva left Milan in the summer, El Shaarawy has emerged as a lone ray of light in a struggling side. With the Milan hierarchy already facing criticism for their summer sales, there is little surprise that vice-president Adriano Galliani has said that he has no intentions of cashing in on El Shaarawy.
"Let's hope Ferguson will stay in love with him, but it's not in our thoughts to sell him," Galliani said, according to Sky Sports.
"I'd like to give peace of mind to supporters, considering we have recently renewed his deal until 2017."
El Shaarawy’s agent Roberto La Florio has also played down the link with United.
“I have had no contact with the United," he claimed, according to Sky Sports,. "The player has been secured by AC Milan and he is happy to play for them. He has always dreamed it.
"He has to keep both feet on the ground, thinking about this club which trusted in him, and that he's paying off with these performances."
A versatile forward, capable of playing though the middle or on the flanks—often cutting in from the left—El Shaarawy has scored four goals in his previous three appearances for the Rossoneri. El Shaarway signed for Milan from Genoa in the summer of 2011 and scored four goals in his limited appearances last season. He made his debut for Italy, against England, in August.
Manchester United could also improve their attacking options with a move for Blackpool’s exciting 20-year-old Thomas Ince. The son of former Manchester United midfielder Paul, Ince is said to be close to a move to Old Trafford by both the Sunday Express and Daily Star Sunday.
Ince came through the academy at Liverpool but, after struggling to earn first-team recognition, was allowed to join Football League Championship side Blackpool in the summer of 2011.
After making a good impact last season that led to interest from Swansea and Queens Park Rangers, Ince has been in scintillating form at the start of this campaign, scoring six goals in seven league starts. A left-footed winger, Ince can attack from either flank.
United are said to be closing in on a £6 million deal for the England Under-21 international, with the player potentially arriving in January.
Ince was not the only young English winger linked to Manchester United over the weekend, with manager Sir Alex Ferguson also keen on Birmingham’s Nathan Redmond, according to the Sunday Mirror. The 18-year-old has been repeatedly spoken of in connection with a move to a bigger club since breaking into the Championship side’s first team last season.
Birmingham have failed to get Redmond to sign a new deal at St Andrews and may now decide to cash in on a player whom they value at £12 million, reports the Mirror.
All the speculation over a new winger may well be linked to continuing reports that current Manchester United wide man Nani’s days at Old Trafford are numbered.
The 25-year-old has yet to sign a new deal with the club and United are said to have agreed a £25 million deal with Zenit St Petersburg in August before Nani priced himself out of a move.
The Mirror now reports that Ferguson remains intent on shipping out the Portugal international given his recent poor form and a training ground altercation with young Italian Davide Petrucci. Juventus are said to be ready to bring Nani to Turin in January and believe they can secure him for a reduced fee of £12 million.