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Manchester United and Arsenal to battle over Boubakary Soumare

Manchester United and Arsenal could go head to head once against for the signature of Boubakary Soumare this summer. The Lille defensive midfielder was linked to United during the January transfer window with the midfield being a problem area for United at the time but United added Bruno Fernandes to the squad during that window. There is no doubt that United will be seeking to sign a player that could allow Nemanja Matic to receive sufficient rest through the course of the full season.

It is suggested by The Sun that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will look to sign Soumare after completing the signing of Gabriel Magalhaes from the French club in a deal worth £27 million, seemingly beating United to the transfer of the Brazilian defender with United reportedly getting involved in the deal on the eleventh hour, which seems to be a typical thing for journalists to report, giving rumours longevity and allowing another article to talk about his Arsenal beat United to the signing of the player.

The Daily Mail has reported that the 21-year-old could be available for around £50 million this summer, which could be comparative with other midfielders available this summer – Donny van de Beek for instance. It is suggested that Arsenal will face serious interest from United and Liverpool for the Frenchman this summer, which might be a ruse by the media to make it look like Arsenal are a big club again, after finishing eighth in the Premier League last season, only earning UEFA Europa League football by winning the Emirates FA Cup.

Soumare is a player who has raised his game for his club, vastly becoming an integral figure since making his first team debut in 2017. The player was also linked to Newcastle United in January, rejecting that move and staying put in France, presumably knowing that bigger clubs would be in touch during the summer transfer window, even despite the coronavirus pandemic. Arsenal are said to be interested in signing two midfielders with Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar linked.

United have a better relationship with Lille after signing Nicolas Pepe last summer and not Magalhaes this summer, which could mean that United will be broadcast as the losers once again, even if they had not even made a move for the Frenchman. Personally, I would rather see United sign a player like Van de Beek this summer as he would help to add more creativity, meaning that either Paul Pogba or Bruno Fernandes could be rested safe in the knowledge that at attack minded player will still be on the pitch. Regarding Matic though, a replacement will need to be found.

That said, James Garner, after what could be a successful loan spell this season, should United find him a club where he will play a lot of first team football, could be a rotation option for Matic from next season, which could see him ready to mount a challenge in the United first team. I would rather see him play than sign a player for £50 million, which could hamper Garner’s first team chances for a number of years, seeing another talented player leave the club for pastures new.

Written by John Walker

Liverpool join Manchester United in pursuit of talented 21-year-old French defensive midfielder – reports

Manchester United have reportedly been joined by Premier League rivals Liverpool in a £50 million chase for French defensive midfielder Boubakary Soumare. The 21-year-old Frenchman has been linked to United before and will probably continue to be linked to the club who will be seeking to find a replacement for Nemanja Matic.

Both United and Liverpool could do with some reinforcement in the midfield this summer, at least defensively as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side looks to cut Liverpool’s lead over the fallen giants and lead them back to Premier League glory. Jurgen Klopp has seemingly thrown his hat into the ring, so to speak, seeking to get ahead of his rivals.

Soumare has played 30 times already this season and with the fact that Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 in France will not resume this season with all sporting events being cancelled until September, at the earliest because of the Coronavirus pandemic, that will be where his stats end. He has not scored a goal but has a solitary assist to his name.

The 21-year-old made his debut in Lille’s first team in 2017, closing up 51 appearances to date, which possibly shows the abilities of the player, which is something that United, Liverpool and any other potential suitor will be seeking to get a hand on their rivals ahead of the new season, whenever that may start.

Soumare has also been linked to Real Madrid with head coach, Zinedine Zidane keeping an eye on the player, whether the club are seeking to make solid their interest remains to be seen. United are being linked once again with the turbulent future of Paul Pogba, who seemingly wants to find a challenge elsewhere, although it may not happen for him.

It was reported that Soumare was offered a chance to play in the Premier League back in January with Newcastle United interested in the player, although he seemingly rejected the move. With the takeover of the club hotting up, they may return in the summer and beyond with an offer, possibly luring the player – who knows?

Soumare is a promising box-to-box midfielder who has been compared to Pogba, due to the physical nature of his play, not to mention his technical ability. He was part of Paris Saint-Germain’s academy, playing in the youth levels from 2011 until 2017 and seeking a move to Lille to be given a first team opportunity, which he has found.

The 21-year-old has been capped by France at every youth level from U16 to U21, playing a total of 39 times across the six age ranges. With United’s interest in the summer, it was clear they were looking at a number of options, possibly in view of Pogba’s departure, which never actually happened. Perhaps it will, sooner to later?

Now that United have looking into the creative problems at the club, signing Bruno Fernandes from Sporting CP in January and adding Shanghai Shenhua striker Odion Ighalo on a six-month loan deal, Pogba may feel settled at United again. Reports did suggest that he may sign a new contract, which has not come forth as yet.

Boubakary Soumare reportedly torn between Manchester United and Chelsea; is he what United needs?

Manchester United have been linked to a whole host of footballers since the summer; many have no chance of becoming true but others seem to have something to them with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer taking a different stance when it come to the rebuild of the Old Trafford club. Boubakary Soumare of Lille is a player who was linked to the club last week, after being linked at the tail end of 2019.

The 20-year-old is reportedly due to decide between United and Chelseabefore the end of the month. Lille will face Paris Saint-Germain on the 26 January and nothing will be decided before that match. It almost sounds the same as Bruno Fernandes and the fact he was going to play for Benfica before leaving Sporting CP, which again turned into nothing – as it did in the summer. Rumours following the same script, maybe?

Arsenal were said to be interested in the player but last week they removed themselves from contention and both Real Madrid and Valencia followed suit. Soumare played against Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League this season, seeing Lille lose 2-1 to the London club. He is a box-to-box midfielder and has been likened to Paul Pogba, a player who himself is linked with an exit from United, however not in this transfer window.

Soumare, 20 has key attributes which include ball recovery, winning possession and his general distribution. Based on that, before even thinking about United’s thin midfield offering this season, he would seem to be a player, based on his attributes, that would fit into this team and help raise the club’s game massively. United have so few options in the midfield, which will be the same for at least a month.

This season, Soumare has played in a total of 25 matches for Lille, playing in Ligue 1, the Champions League and the Coupe de la Ligue. The Frenchman has one assist to his name this season, playing 1,748 minutes of football. When he’s compared to Pogba, it is in a much different way as the French World Cup winner can create and score goals, whereas Soumare, at this time, is not offering that.

Soumare has played 64 times in his career so far at first team level, scoring one goal in total, one assist playing 3,525 minutes of football in total. He may not be the big name that some crave – which is also a direction that has not worked all that well in the past but in saying that, United could have a player similar to Soumare in the club’s academy; James Garner and Dylan Levitt, for instance.

If Soumare was a valid option for United, his passing accuracy, currently 89.1%, could help with United lack of creativity and work well with the pace available at the club. However, with creativity also lacking at the club, just bringing in Soumare would not solve the major issues that United are suffering from at this moment in time. If he was part of two or three transfers this month, it might be worthwhile.

However, the possibility of two or three players coming to the club this month seems to be slim. United have not yet been able to secure the signing of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting, despite speculation being rife over the past two weeks. If Ed Woodward cannot sign a player the club needs, despite that player being available, how could he sign a player that would need convincing to join the ailing club?

The main thing is that United is a club that has not been invested in by the owners and with the debt the club is currently in and the fact that star players, such as Pogba, seem unhappy, it could spell bad times heading to the club. Of course, it all gets worse before it gets better but the depths United have plunged since Sir Alex Ferguson retired more than six years ago may not be anything yet.

copyright: JW