Memphis Depay officially became a Manchester United player on Wednesday with the opening of the summer transfer window, and to date he remains the only addition in a close season that is expected to feature another flurry of investment. But the limited action does not appear to have been down to a lack of intent on United’s part.
Much of Manchester United’s attention thus far this summer has been taken up by trying to ensure that if goalkeeper David de Gea does leave for Real Madrid, he does so on the most favorable terms to the Old Trafford club. That desire has seen United push hard for the signing of Madrid defender Sergio Ramos.
The Spanish World Cup winner’s fractured relationship with Real Madrid is now well established, having failed to agree terms on extending a contract that has two years left to run. United have reportedly already had a first bid of £28.5 million rejected, and the Daily Mirror is now claiming that the Premier League giants won’t return with an increased offer until Real Madrid do likewise for De Gea. United may need to fully employ the leverage of Madrid’s interest in De Gea, with the 10-time European champions currently holding out for a ludicrous fee of near 100 million euros (£70.1 million), according to Madrid-based sports daily Marca.
Manchester United’s hopes of luring another reported target appear even bleaker. Paul Pogba has regularly been linked with a return to Old Trafford since showing his incredible potential in Juventus’ midfield, and the France international is thought to have been on the radar of most of Europe’s top clubs this summer.
Reports on Wednesday claimed Barcelona had agreed a deal to sign Pogba for the 2016-2017 season, after their transfer ban expires. Yet, although quotes from Juventus managing director Beppe Marotta suggest that isn’t the case, the two clubs have held a meeting over Pogba’s transfer.
“The mood of the meeting was very good, terrific, but we did not reach an agreement for Pogba with Barca,” Martotta said, according to Spanish publication AS. “We received an offer of €80m but I can say that Juve do not want to sell Pogba,”
It does, though, appear that United have definitely lost out on one potential target to Barcelona. Turkish midfielder Arda Turan has revealed he will leave Atletico Madrid this summer and had been linked with United as well as Chelsea. Yet he now looks headed, surprisingly, for Barcelona. Catalan publication Sport states that an agreement has already been reached for the signing of the 28-year-old, who has played a major part in Atletico’s rise under Diego Simeone.
The future of another Manchester United target remains very much up in the air, however. Bastian Schweinsteiger has spent his entire career at Bayern Munich, winning everything there is to win, but, with manager Pep Guardiola, seeking to make changes after another season of disappointment in the Champions League, his exit has been mooted. The 30-year-old recently said his intention was to remain at the club, although Bayern have yet to confirm that will be the case.
“Basically, nothing is excluded,” sporting director Matthias Sammer said, reports Sky Sports. “It's a crazy world. He has clearly expressed that he is an important part of the team, but let's see. We're still waiting.”