It was always going to be the case that the first significant striker transfer of the summer would cause a ripple effect. (No, we won’t include Arsenal’s purchase of Lacazette as a significant mov–ed)
And so Romelu Lukaku’s pending move to United should mean that Chelsea’s interests will turn to Alvaro Morata, and so on. One somewhat unexpected side effect is how United’s own transfer plans might change and it goes some way to explaining the delay in the Lukaku deal.
This is a theory. Jose Mourinho was testing the water to see if he could tempt Nemanja Matic from his old club, seeing as Kante as emerged as a kingpin in the water carrier role and considering their reported interest in Tiemoue Bakayoko of Monaco. However, the prohibitive cost for Matic delayed negotiations, and so United made the move for Lukaku anyway, not wanting to drag it on, regardless of the consequences. Chelsea, meanwhile, have become even more reluctant to do business with United considering how they were used in the Lukaku deal.
United, therefore, need to find another player to fit the combative midfield role, and the tabloid minds at the Sun suggest that Bakayoko fits the bill perfectly. We at UIF are big fans of Bakayoko and haven’t been best pleased that he seemed likely to go to Chelsea. An interesting subplot is Monaco’s apparent annoyance with Chelsea taking their own sweet time over the deal, and so, they may shut down those negotiations and be more receptive to United’s advances.
How true and how likely? Well, it seems more likely that the Sun, with the absence of anyone who can lay a solid claim to breaking the Lukaku deal, instead want to get in on the next rumour. So, what does Henry Moore of the Sun (a person we’d never heard of) tell us? Be prepared to be astounded for this is the extent of his investigative wisdom. “It is understood that if Manchester United are unable to sign Serbia international Nemanja Matic they will move for Bakayoko.”
Yep, us too.
The Mail on Sunday inform us that, contrary to our column yesterday, hell has not frozen over and Daniel Levy will not allow Eric Dier to be that holding midfielder either.
The most reliable, or at least believable, story comes from the Mirror, who report that United are prepared to hand a short term deal to Zlatan Ibrahimovic should he make a satisfactory recovery from his injury. That should mean that Lukaku will be handed Rooney’s number 10, and suggests that reinforcements for the squad are likely to be sought elsewhere than centre-forward now.