Manchester United kick-started their preparations for the new season with a 2-1 win over Derby County in a friendly on Sunday at Pride Park Stadium. Tahith Chong gave his team the lead in the 18th minute before Facundo Pellistri rounded the goalkeeper and doubled the score in style after the break. The hosts reduced the deficit through Colin Kazim-Richards, but it was a largely comfortable night for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who confirmed that Jadon Sancho’s arrival is just a matter of time now.
Manchester United are also targeting reinforcements in midfield before the end of the summer, while the Norwegian has to decide on the futures of a few of his current stars. The Red Devils are also targeting talented young players in the market.
On that note, let’s take a look at the major Manchester United transfer stories from 18 July 2021.
Manchester United in contact with €40m Atletico Madrid midfielder
Manchester United are in touch with Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez, according to the Daily Mail via AS. The Spaniard’s future continues to hang in the balance as the La Liga title winners plot a swap deal with Barcelona involving Saul and Antoine Griezmann. However, the Red Devils are ready to lap him up if the swap deal falls through. Saul has dropped down the pecking order at the Wanda Metropolitano and the arrival of Rodrigo De Paul could further hurt his first-team chances.
The Spaniard is contemplating a move away from Atletico Madrid as a result, and Manchester United are interested in his services. However, the Red Devils are expected to face stiff competition for his signature from Liverpool. Saul has five years left on his current contract and is expected to cost around €40m.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer provides update on Jesse Lingard future
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted that Jesse Lingard could be a part of the Manchester United squad next season. The Englishman spent the second half of last season on loan with West Ham United and was hugely impressive. The Hammers are eager to sign Lingard permanently this summer but are yet to match the Red Devils’ valuation of the player.
Speaking after the game, the Manchester United manager spoke highly of the Englishman and revealed that Lingard is part of his plans for the upcoming campaign.
“Jesse has come back, been bright, he wants to fight for his place. What he did towards the end of last season, that's the true Jesse. We lacked maybe some options at times. Jesse is in the plans at the moment” said Solskjaer.
Manchester United win the race to sign Liverpool youngster
Manchester United have won the race for Liverpool’s 16-year-old wonderkid Ethan Ennis, according to Stretty News. The Red Devils faced competition from Chelsea for the player’s signature but managed to pull off the deal in the end. Ennis scored five goals and registered one assist from eight games for the Liverpool Under-18 team last season.
The Reds were eager to keep him at Anfield, but the highly-rated youngster reportedly rejected a new deal to opt for Manchester United, who have offered him a three-year contract.