United linked midfielder Soumare told he is free to leave Lille
A defensive midfielder linked with a move to Manchester United during the 2019/20 season has been told he is free to move this transfer window.
Boubakary Soumare was first linked to United by ESPN, which claimed he was seen as a ‘potential heir’ to Paul Pogba.
Sky Sports then reported in January that United had held talks over signing Soumare.
Since then it has all gone pretty quiet. Soumare is still available.
Free to leave
Lille president Gerard Lopez this week told Telefoot, reported GFFN: “The door is open if he wants to leave, but for the others (Sanches and Araujo) we will have to discuss. We have had important offers from clubs where he did not want to go. All three parties have to agree for a transfer to occur.
“He’s quite impatient to play & that’s normal. It shows ambition. He will undoubtedly leave the club, the door is open. We have concrete offers. We will talk in the coming days.”
Newcastle made a deadline day move for Soumare in January, having a £35 million bid accepted, but the player turned them down [BBC].
Should Manchester United pay attention?
Paul Pogba himself looks more likely to stay put at United, which decreases the need to sign a replacement.
However while Soumare was compared to Pogba, he is more like Nemanja Matic in playing style.
So far this transfer window, United have not shown a willingness to address the defensive midfield position, and it does not appear to be a top priority.
Soumare, 21, has barely featured for Lille in their opening two games of Ligue 1 this season, playing just eight minutes.
Last season the France under-21 international played 30 games, including six in the Champions League.
He is a player who could end up coming back onto United’s radar once other business is done, but not before.
United’s priorities are to sign a winger, and possibly even a centre-back.
If Soumare wants a United move, he is likely going to have to be patient, stay at Lille, and earn one next summer, when the position is likely to become one the Red Devils decide to address more urgently.
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