Manchester United Academy star Paddy McNair, clearly not part of Jose Mourinho’s plans this season could well be heading out of the club on a loan deal, or maybe even a permanent deal should one be touted. The 21-year-old Northern Ireland international has already been linked to Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic and Sean Dyche’s Burnley, according to the Daily Record. The Sun carry some quotes from Rodgers when asked about bringing the player into the club this summer, of which he said:
“I can’t deny or say yes or no to that because there have been so many players who have been thrown our way or linked with Celtic. I can’t comment on everyone.”
Former Liverpool manager Rodgers seemed to choose his words wisely so as not to confirm anything, or even suggest they were interested in the player. That is not the only option open to McNair, who could join former United teammate Michael Keane, providing he remains at the club after interest from Leicester City earlier this summer, which may be of benefit for him. In the run-up to the European Championships this summer, in which Northern Ireland got out of the group states but, beaten 1-0 by Wales, McNair played as a defensive midfielder, a role which is preferred by the player himself, rather than playing in central defence or as a right-back, which may be of benefit to his suitors.
Dyche is a fan of McNair and previously tried to get the player from United in January, but was unable to find an agreement with the Old Trafford club at the time. Burnley need to find new players in a bid to remain in the top-flight this season after winning the Championship last season and earning promotion. Dyche and Burnley would be willing to lock horns with United again in order to conduct a deal for the player, presumably on a loan deal as it would not contain a massive fee or bonus, which may benefit the Premier League newcomers. Mourinho would be satisfied with a loan spell for McNair, but a permanent deal is something the Old Trafford club would welcome.
Last season, McNair made nine appearances for United’s first team, failing to become a regular. He played the same amount of games for Northern Ireland last season, featuring twice in the European Championships in France. McNair made 10 appearances, scoring once for Warren Joyce’s U21 side last season, who retained their Barclays U21 Premier League title. Whilst McNair is a competent player, he has found it hard to find a place in the team. Now he has chosen to play in midfield, a position which is even tougher to break into, the chances of him playing for United again may be quite slim. That, however, will not stop him from forging a career at another club, which I am sure he will do. A loan spell this season may help him achieve that next summer, or even in January, unless clubs place offers to take McNair away from United permanently before deadline day.