Manchester United are reportedly ‘ready to move’ to sign Napoli’s Polish striker Arkadiusz Milik this summer. The transfer window will be open for another week with United not signing a player since Donny van de Beek arrived at the club from Ajax at the start of September. This summer was supposed to be a big one for the Old Trafford club, but the coronavirus pandemic has put a proverbial spanner in the works with many clubs losing out financially because of the fact that supporters are not back in stadiums at the start of the season with plans shelved for that to even be started once again – which was due to happen in October.
Tottenham Hotspur were said to be leading the chase to sign Milik, 26, this summer but Rai Sports reporter Ciro Venerato has suggested that United have shown interest in the Polish striker and held informal talks, along with RB Leipzig, Manchester City, Fulham and Spurs. This gives the suggestion that it is not clear cut what could happen this summer but United, in terms of the size of the club, the fact they will be playing in the UEFA Champions League, as will Leipzig and City, but Spurs will only play in the Uefa Europa League with Fulham only just returning to the Premier League from the Championship and will play no part in European football this season.
Venerato recently spoke to Radio Kiss Kiss, which was reported by The Sun in which he spoke about the clubs that have an interest in signing Milik this summer. United were linked to the player back in April 2020 whilst the Premier League was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic and it was expected that the club were getting ready for the summer transfer window, which was expected to be delayed with it not known at the time whether the Premier League would continue that season or be scrapped. It would seem that Spurs are still in the driving seat for the Polish striker this summer but United could involve themselves. Venerato said:
“An intermediary told me that there’s informal talks with Leipzig, Manchester City, Manchester United, Fulham and Tottenham [Hotspur].
“The latter are the most reliable track, but the formula requested by Napoli does not convince [Jose] Mourinho.”
This season, United have Anthony Martial, who scored 23 goals and 12 assists during the 2019/20 season, as the number one striker at the club with Odion Iglaho, who is on loan from Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua until the end of January 2021 as the second-choice striker at the club. The thing is that Solskjaer would need to bring in a new striker sooner rather than later with that expected to happen during the January transfer window, with Ighalo leaving the club by the end of that month. If United can sign a striker this summer, then it would show that Solskjaer needed a boost to the clubs firepower this season.
Ighalo has not scored a goal since the 2-1 victory over Norwich City in the Emirates FA Cup last season, which was played on the 27 June 2020. Ighalo has made two appearances so far this season, playing 88 minutes of football and has yet to score or make an assist. During the 2019/20 season, Milik made a total of 35 appearances for Napoli, scoring 14 goals and no assists. He might not be the first choice striker at the club but in terms of goals, he could offer something to help carry United forward, having a different kind of attacking player on the bench, rather than the same players all the time, which is likely this season.
United have a good first XI but after that, the quality is not as good and needs to be looked at. This is the problem with the club. The strongest XI that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has available, when fully fit and raring to go, will do the job that is needed but that XI cannot play across an entire season and will need to be rotated, especially with the club being involved in four competitions once again and definitely because there was a short break this summer because of the coronavirus pandemic which will leave the players a lot less fresh as the season develops. United do have a big squad but there are many players that just do not cut it and end up letting the club down.
Written by John Walker