Boubakary Soumare could be a cut-price bargain for Manchester United

Among the names strongly linked with a move to Manchester United in January, recent rumours over Boubakary Soumare have gone a little quiet.

It may not be this way for long, with Lille among the many French sides strapped for cash, who are facing up to the reality of having to accept lesser fees for their players.

ESPN first reported United were keen on the Ligue 1 defensive midfielder, with Sky Sports also backing this up. The Sun reported Lille valued Soumare at £50 million.

This price may not be so high now.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Le10Sport reported that German side Hertha Berlin enquired with Lille over Soumare, and were told that a ‘floor price’ for Soumare began between 25 and 30 million Euros. Around £23 million.


This is a big drop on the previous valuations of the France under-21 midfielder, who has been likened to Paul Pogba.

Of course if United get involved, prices tend to shoot up. But with French football facing a financial crisis due to the cancellation of the season, it makes sense that Lille will not get the fee they were previously looking for.

Indeed the report even states they need funds from transfers ‘to stabilise their accounts’.

Bellingham priority

United’s faded interest in Soumare in recent weeks is likely owed to Birmingham City midfielder Jude Bellingham being seen as a priority.

With Paul Pogba staying put, and James Garner and Hannibal Mejbri both hoping to break through, there is only going to be one central midfield spot available for a new signing.

The Evening Standard report Bellingham has been promised a first team spot if he signs.

As talented as Soumare is, he is likely only seen as a back-up option right now, in case Bellingham chooses Dortmund, which we hope he doesn’t.

The bargain price may alert United’s attention though, and with Soumare five years older at 21, he may be more ‘ready’ to contribute right away if we end up signing him instead.


Obviously the worst case scenario would be to miss out on Bellingham, and see Soumare has already signed elsewhere, and that could happen.

There is considerable interest from rival Premier League clubs in Soumare, with SoccerLink connecting Tottenham Hotspur, and The Express claiming Wolves, Liverpool, and Chelsea have all scouted him this season in addition to United.

Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

The team to watch though could turn out to be Newcastle, who BBC Sport reported nearly signed him on deadline day in an ambitious move, only to see the midfielder turn them down.

Now with the Geordies on the verge of a big takeover, The Chronicle report Soumare is now interested in a move if they renew their interest.

So United cannot hang about too long, especially if Lille remain open to selling for as little as £23 million.

Jude Bellingham may be an essential buy, but if it looks like his heart is in Germany, it will be time to pivot in another direction and sign a top quality alternative.

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