Manchester United’s cut price summer looks set to continue if latest reports are anything to go by.
Jose Mourinho is fighting a battle with Ed Woodward to get the budget for the players he wants; a battle which traditionally ends with Mourinho leaving his job one way or the other.
It is no secret that Mourinho is interested in signing Willian from his former club Chelsea but United are notably absent from the bidding war that has seen Barcelona offer £50m (an offer which was rejected).
Woodward believes United should make a marquee signing and seems to have his heart set on Gareth Bale. Meanwhile, United have already signed Fred for £50m to bolster their midfield. The renewal of the contract of Maruoane Fellaini also means that transfer funds need not be used to further reinforce that area, with Ander Herrera and Scott McTominay also available for back up.
And Diogo Dalot, at £20m, represents another low budget option in an area where the club have desperately needed to invest for years; considering Manchester City were buying reserve full backs at a more expensive price, demonstrating that United are yet to really make any improvement in this area.
And the alternative suggested to Willian in this morning’s press is Xherdan Shaqiri, who is available from relegated Stoke City for just £12m.
It could yet be one in the latest of a string of transfers where Shaqiri — who is heavily linked with a move to Liverpool — goes to Anfield with the red herring of United’s interest behind him to make it look like Klopp won ‘another’ transfer battle. If United’s interest is genuine it will mark another underwhelming transfer saga in a summer where the club were hoped to close the gap between themselves and City.