Bastoni and Nunez transfer claims are using Manchester United in different ways
Manchester United have money to spend this summer and an incentive to use it, to strengthen a squad which finished just sixth last season.
United are yet to make a firm move, leaving everyone waiting to see what way the wind will blow, and leaving the door open to plenty of speculation. As usual, United’s name is high on the list when it comes to transfer talk.
When it comes to transfers and Manchester United and the media, the key lesson is not to take everything at face value.
That’s why when there are claims United are set to move for Inter Milan defender Alessandro Bastoni, you should be suspicious…
‘United move for Bastoni’
Gazzetta dello Sport had claimed interest from United in Bastoni a week ago. It’s usual for United to be linked with defenders of his calibre, a player touted in Italy as Giorgio Chiellini’s heir.
Last night, Gianluca di Marzio claimed United are making a move for Bastoni, turning talk, into action.
Well this all sounds promising, doesn’t it? A closer look at the situation suggests you should not believe it.
Bastoni is being more prominently linked with Tottenham Hotspur, where he would rejoin his former Inter boss Antonio Conte, who can also offer him Champions League football.
Inter are reluctant to lose Bastoni, but want to fund a deal for Romelu Lukaku. And if they are going to lose him, far better to generate a bidding war.
Manchester United’s ‘interest’ appears to be being used as a ploy to hurry Tottenham along, with 90Min claiming Bastoni has told Inter he wants to join Spurs. If he ends up at United it would be a major shock.
‘Liverpool move for Nunez’
Benfica striker Darwin Nunez has been prominently linked to Manchester United in recent weeks, with The Athletic reporting the Red Devils are among the frontrunners.
Now, to complicate the situation, Portuguese newspaper Record claim rivals Liverpool are set to submit a £85 million offer for the Uruguayan.
Should United be worried? Probably. And that is precisely the point. Benfica and Nunez’s camp want United to panic, and submit a big bid.
This is the opposite side of the coin to the Bastoni situation, where United are being used to flush out another club.
The Nunez situation could simply be using Liverpool to try and accelerate United’s transfer interest.
But it’s also just as likely to prompt United to walk away altogether. One way or another, United are being pressured into making a decision, and thats a good thing.
On the off chance Liverpool genuinely are pushing for Nunez, then United can’t currently compete with what they can offer anyway, and it is time to look at alternatives.