Manchester United are targeting more than one addition in the transfer market this month.
The MEN claim that a move for Atletico Madrid midfielder Marcos Llorente is a possibility.
This is separate to any pursuit of Bruno Fernandes, with Llorente being lined up as a loan signing.
Who is Marcos Llorente?
1: Llorente is a central midfielder who came through Real Madrid’s youth system. After playing 39 games for Real, he was allowed to sign with rivals Atletico this summer for £35 million, following in both his dad and grandfather’s footsteps by playing for the two Madrid clubs.
2: He has not had a good start at Atletico, playing just 310 minutes in La Liga, with only three starts. United consider that this makes him an option for a possible loan.
3: Llorente is a defensive midfielder with just two career goals, both for Real. His passing success rate across his career to date is 88 per cent, [whoscored].
4: He has a Champions League medal for Real’s 2017/18 win, but he played in just one match, as a substitute against Dortmund in the group stages. He was not on the bench for the final.
5: He was signed as a replacement for Manchester City’s Rodri, who Atletico sold in the summer. But he has failed to have the same impact on the side as the former first team regular.
Smart move – but also concerning
Clearly if we are talking about the club getting Marcos Llorente in, or nobody, then we would rather a deal gets done.
He will enable Nemanja Matic and Fred a bit of breathing space while Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba return from injury.
Signing a player worth £35 million just months ago on a loan deal would be a shrewd bit of business, but without an option to buy, it would just be a stop gap.
There is a concern about how much money United have available to spend and the ambition the club is showing.
United should be targeting Atletico’s first choice midfielders Saul Niguez, or Thomas Partey, the latter who has a release clause of just £43 million.
Instead United are taking the budget option, and that is a little worrying.
Even so, if United can close the Bruno Fernandes deal and get Llorente in on loan too, it will represent a successful transfer window.
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