Ole Gunnar Solskjaer discussed transfers at his press conference on Wednesday.
He said a lot, without saying much at all. Solskjaer was quoted by The Mirror: “We always look at the long term with transfers, it might be none, might be one, might be two in January. It’s always the summer.”
United didn’t do enough deals in the summer which has left us in need to sign players at the start of 2020.
So let us cut to the chase: Sign James Maddison early or miss out altogether.
Do everything to get deal done in January
If Solskjaer believes a deal for reported top United target James Maddison will be any easier in the summer, he’s wrong. Look at Leicester’s league position.
The Foxes sit in third position and are mounting a serious charge for a Champions League place. They are six points clear of fifth, and 10 ahead of United.
If Maddison has the chance to play Champions League next season, it will be even tougher to tempt him away.
It’s unlikely we are going to land a top four place the way it is going, albeit not impossible.
The MEN reported United are optimistic of signing Maddison, but it will be very difficult to sway him next summer if it means he must take a step down in competitive terms.
Next summer is already a dicey time to sign Maddison because of Euro 2020, with the chance potential displays for England at the tournament could inflate his transfer value.
Advantage to move earlier
Convincing Leicester to sell mid-season is going to be tough especially with their good form.
If United are smart and bold they will be able to win them around, if the deal is done quickly.
Meet the reported £80m asking price for Maddison in the first week of January and Leicester have plenty of time left to recruit a replacement.
The chance to sign for United will seem like a once in a lifetime opportunity for Maddison and he will not be happy if Leicester deny him it.
It could negatively impact Leicester to keep an unhappy player and have it upset their season.
Solskjaer is correct to acknowledge the difficulty of the January market.
Leicester might not play ball. But United simply have to try. Giving up before January has even started would be weak.
If they decide to wait until the summer, Leicester’s potential success will make a move even more difficult and potentially take it off the table completely.
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