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Manchester United enter Benoit Badiashile ‘transfer talks’ as central defender required this summer

Manchester United have reportedly entered into negotiations with AS Monaco for 19-year-old Benoit Badiashile, who is a central defender at the club, according to reports coming from France and reported by The Mirror. It is suggested that both Real Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen are both interested in the French teenager who signed his last contract in December 2019 which will expire in the summer of 2024. It is suggested that United have been monitoring the teenager for some time.

Badiashile will be the third left-footed central defender to be linked to the club recently after it was alleged that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was speaking to Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake after United beat the club 5-2 in the Premier League. That talk was denied by the manager but we have seen other left-footed defenders being linked to the club from Gabriel Magalhaes, Pau Torres and now Badiashile. It might well be that United are seeking to bring in a left-footed central defender this summer.

This season, the 19-year-old made a total of 20 appearances for his club, not scoring any goals or assists. He played in Ligue 1, the Coupe de le Ligue and the Coupe de France. It is suggested that Solskjaer will be seeking to sign a long-term partner for Harry Maguire, who arrived at the Old Trafford club from Leicester City for £80 million last summer. This season, he has been partnered by Victor Lindelof for much of the season with the Sweden international floundering, apart from the last match against Maguire’s former club.

It has been reported that it would take a bid of more than €15million (£13.5million) to sign the France U91 defender from the principality club this summer as Monaco turned down a bid in that region from Bayer Leverkusen on Friday. United will not want to enter into a bidding war though, which could see them pay well over the odds for the player. This is probably why the manager has earmarked a number of targets in the position, if indeed it is a position that he wants to strengthen this summer.

Personally, the defence will need to be looked at as this summer, Solskjaer could see Chris Smalling leave the club with some Italian interest in the player. Marcos Rojo reportedly wants to leave the club and Phil Jones has been used sparingly this season and is currently injured so the club should be looking to offload him, if there are any interested clubs out there wanting an injury prone defender who has not really improved in around a decade at the club.

That may sound harsh but it is true. Solskjaer will need to bring in his own players, also keeping an eye on the players coming through the club’s academy with Ethan Laird and Teden Mengi the two that might be ready to be given some first team appearances the season and beyond. It is possible that either on or both could feature in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 second leg against LASK at Old Trafford on Wednesday, which would be good for the players and the club.

Written by John Walker

Manchester United ‘to end Monaco hell’ of talented 19-year-old Italian forward – reports

Manchester United are apparently eyeing a move for Italian teenager Pietro Pellegri, according to reports. It has been reported by Football Italia that the 19-year-old could be set to join Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, and Mason Greenwood in the forward line at the Old Trafford club, which would see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rejuvenate the squad.

At the age of 16, Pellegri was signed by principality club AS Monaco for an £18 million (€25 million) fee with the player arriving from Genoa where at the time he had scored three goals in 10 appearances at senior level for the club. However, since then, the player has made just six appearances for Monaco, scoring one goal.

A series of injuries this season saw him not play a single minute of football for Monaco, seemingly suffering a hamstring injury, which raged on throughout much of the season, and when the plug was pulled on the Ligue 1 season, despite not being fit, it meant his season was over. It would seem his time at Monaco has not been great.

It has been stated that Solskjaer feels that Pellegri could help bring the old times back to the Old Trafford club, with the club seeking to find a new striker, which left them short up front this season and needing to make a loan signing in the form of Odion Ighalo from Chinese club, Shanghai Shenhua, which ends this weekend.

Pellegri idolised Zlatan Ibrahimovic, which is a good player to model yourself on, considering the form he had at United, scoring 29 goals and 10 assists in 53 appearances for the club before leaving for LA Galaxy in the MLS, scoring 53 goals and 15 assists in 58 appearances. He’s now playing for former club, AC Milan.

The 19-year-old would be considered a risk but with the form of Rashford (19 goals and six assists), Martial (16 goals and five assists) and even Greenwood (14 goals and four assists), he could be given the time to find his feet at the club, if United’s interest in solid. However, the club has been linked to Manny names already it is hard to tell.

United are still linked to Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, who is reportedly the clubs number one target, Aston Villa attacking midfielder Jack Grealish, and even Birmingham City midfielder Jude Bellingham, who might yet opt to sign for Dortmund. United need to secure two attacking players; a striker and a right-winger.

With the Premier League due to resume in two week’s time, Solskjaer will be concentrating on getting his squad up to fitness after not playing a match since mid-March when the league and the rest of world football was suspended. Since then, the Bundesliga has returned, entering it’s third weekend of action with La Liga and Serie A yet to resume.

Pellegri could be an under the radar signing and could play more U23 level football, than first team level football at the start of his United career, if indeed these reports are true. However, with Joe Hugill‘s impending arrival, that might not be something that happens. I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens this summer.

Manchester United and Arsenal interested in £40 million French striker this summer – reports

Manchester United and Premier League rivals Arsenal are reportedly going to be locked in an ‘intense’ scramble for AS Monaco striker Wissam Ben Yedder according to reports. Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur will make it a five team Premier League battle with Real Madrid also suggested amongst the players suitors.

The 29-year-old France international was linked to United in the summer following the departure of Romelu Lukaku, who left the Old Trafford club for Inter Milan, but nothing materialised for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side with the club instead waiting until the January transfer window to sign Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo on a six-month loan instead.

The striker matches his 18-goal haul from the 2018/19 season in just 28 Ligue 1 matches this season, scoring another goal in the Coupe de France, making it 19 goals this season. Now that the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 seasons have been prematurely ended, that will be the strikers haul this season, also assisting nine goals in all competitions.

French news source, L’Equipe has reported that a £40 million fee should be something that the principality club manager to get for the striker this summer, whenever the transfer window opens after the Coronavirus pandemic stopped world football with some leagues ending their seasons and other still having plans to play them out.

United manager Solskjaer will be seeking to sign a new striker this summer and personally I would prefer the club to secure a long-term deal for Ighalo, who has done well since joining in January, scoring four goals and one assist in eight appearances in the Premier League, Emirates FA Cup and the UEFA Europa League.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta may need to find a replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this summer with the Gabon international linked with a departure from the North London club – who will be out of contract in 12 months time. Liverpool also seem interested but Timo Werner may be the striker for Jurgen Klopp, if a deal can be agreed.

Monaco signed Ben Yedder in the summer of 2019 after paying his €40 release clause from Spanish side Sevilla and are likely to not let him leave the club on the cheap. The Frenchman has scored 19 goals and nine assists in 31 appearances for Monaco, also scoring 70 goals and 22 assist in 138 appearances for Sevilla, and 71 goals and 22 assists for Toulouse.

“Barcelona could have happened much earlier for me.

“Last summer they made contacts for me, they collected a lot of information about me and the same was true this winter, but the move did not happen.

“It shows I am doing a good job, but despite this interest I am totally focused on my performances with Monaco.”

Ben Yedder was also linked to Barcelona last summer with the above quote form the player when he spoke to Onze Mundial. It just goes to show the varied interest in the player from a number of clubs in England and Spain, which could once again come to fruition this summer, as soon as the transfer window opens. Whether United are interested remains to be seen though.

copyright: JW