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Man United’s three-man back-up shortlist if Declan Rice transfer fails to materialise

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Manchester United sit join-top of the Premier League table after their dramatic 2-1 away victory against West Ham United.

However, the many doubts and concerns regarding their deeper-lying midfielders are still lingering Scott McTomimay and Fred were both reinstated into the defensive midfield pivot, but both players struggled against the strength and pace of West Ham’s midfield and attacking areas.

They were stranded for Said Benrahma’s goal in the first half, with the Algerian receiving the ball 25-yards from goal with no player within his radius, before his effort was deflected into the net by Raphael Varane.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has two of the finest midfielders in the Premier League in Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes, but their exploits are best spent in the final third of the pitch.

They will not be the men to fend off counter-attacks or provide their defences with the very same safety blanket United’s rivals currently enjoy.

Solskjaer knows a very large chink in their armour lays between Bruno and Harry Maguire – it is why they are interested in West Ham’s Declan Rice as reported by Rob Dawson of ESPN.

Unfortunately for the Red Devils, a Premier League transfer record would likely be required to convince the Hammers to part with the 22-year-old former Chelsea academy star. United may need to draft up a list of alternative options – Daily Express Sport looks at a three man transfer shortlist they should consider. 

Renato Sanches 

After disastrous spells at Bayern Munich and Swansea City, the footballing world was concerned the Euro 2016 player of the tournament was going to become another one of football’s “What ifs?” However, he has put those frustrating seasons behind him, becoming the midfield engine and creator for Lille’s triumphant Ligue One campaign last season.

Les Dogues spectacularly won their first French title in ten years, beating Paris Saint-Germain to the title. He also followed it up with even more impressive showings for Portugal during Euro 2020.

Transfermarkt value the 24-year-old at around £27m, but he will enter the final year of his contract next season. With Lille currently 15th in the table, they could struggle to hold on to him if United expressed an interest.

At 24-years-old, he has time on his side, and his performances from last season and in the summer have proven his maturity and improvement as a player.

Yves Bissouma

The Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder recently said he believes he is the best midfielder in the Premier League.

However, it is currently hard to argue with his boldness, considering he has been a driving force in the Seagull’s incredible start to the season.

Many had tipped Graham Potter’s side to be in and amongst the relegation dog-fight, but with victories against Burnley, Watford, Brentford, and most recently Leicester City, they find themselves in fourth place.

Bissouma has arguably been their most important player, providing the Brighton defence with the perfect midfield protection, as well as driving forward and contributing creatively as well.

At 25-years-old he not only has many years ahead of him, he will also be at his peak within the next few seasons.

He will also be entering the final year of his contract next season, and if he does not put pen to paper on a new deal before then, next year will be Brighton’s final opportunity to cash in on his services. 

Boubacar Kamara

It is not every day one of the most promising young midfielders in Europe become available on a free transfer, but that will be the case next season for Marseille midfielder Boubacar Kamara.

The 21-year-old made 35 appearances for the French giants last season, and has already racked up 128 appearances despite his young age.

According to L’Equipe, he was offered a new two year contract extension, but it appears the club are acceptant of the fact he will likely leave the Stade Velodrome.

His contract expires next season, meaning he will be available to leave on a free transfer next season.

His defensive numbers are impressive with 65.9% of defensive duels won, as well as a pass completion percentage of 89.6%.

He appears to tick all of the boxes, and he could be a huge bargain for United this season if they act quickly.

Chelsea

Manchester United, Arsenal, and Chelsea set to battle it out for Atletico Madrid forward

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Manchester United, Arsenal, and Chelsea are all set to battle it out for Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix.

Felix has endured a difficult start to the season for Atletico and is yet to score in five starts in the league.

Last season wasn’t much better for Felix, only managing 24 league starts.
With competition up top including French international Antoine Griezmann, Felix is often used as a rotation option under Diego Simeone.

Now, according to Fichajes, a move to the Premier League could be on the cards, with Manchester United, Chelsea, and Arsenal all interested in signing the striker.

Both Manchester United and Chelsea will need to find a long-term replacement for their current first-choice strikers.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are both reaching the latter stage of their careers for their respective clubs, so bringing a player with a similar age profile to Felix would be a smart move.

A move to Arsenal may not benefit Felix’s development as much, with Gabriel Jesus performing exceptionally well for the North London club and still only 25 years old.

 

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Football

Manchester United transfer news RECAP plus fixture updates and Cody Gakpo latest

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Manchester United and fellow Premier League clubs are counting down the days until they can strike-up further business in the transfer market. Erik ten Hag welcomed six players to Old Trafford during his first window and they have all made their mark in the starting XI.

Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez have all quickly become mainstays, while Antony broke a record set by Zlatan Ibrahimovic when he scored on Sunday night. That 2-1 victory over Everton also saw former Real Madrid player Casemiro handed his first Premier League start for the club.

Martin Dubravka was the other recruit, signing on a season-long loan from Newcastle.

With one eye on January and future windows, meanwhile, United are understood to still have Frenkie de Jong on their radar, while elite clubs from across Europe will be queuing up for Jude Bellingham should he decided to leave Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund in the near transfer window.
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Chelsea

So good’: Reece James and Carney Chukwuemeka react to display from £135m star Chelsea reportedly want to sign

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Jude Bellingham shined yet again last night for Borussia Dortmund on the Champions League stage, which received some interesting reaction from a Chelsea perspective.

England star Bellingham, 19, scored in Dortmund’s 1-1 draw against Sevilla. It means the teenage midfielder has now scored in all four Champions League group stage matches so far this season

Afterwards, Bellingham posted on Instagram “more to do” following Dortmund’s midweek result in Europe.

There were some interesting replies in the comment section, especially from two current Chelsea stars.

“Another day at the office”, Reece James posted.

Carney Chukwuemeka added: “So, so good”.

Bellingham in Champions League

Another Bellingham masterclass in the Champions League highlights why Chelsea, along with other elite teams, are linked with his signature.

German publication Bild report that Chelsea are now favourites to sign Bellingham ahead of the likes of Liverpool and Real Madrid.

Another Bellingham masterclass in the Champions League highlights why Chelsea, along with other elite teams, are linked with his signature.

German publication Bild report that Chelsea are now favourites to sign Bellingham ahead of the likes of Liverpool and Real Madrid.

Bellingham plays alongside plenty of Chelsea stars on the international stage with England, so let’s hope they can put in a good word to try tempt him to the Bridge.

He’s an all – action central midfielder that offers so much both offensively and defensively.

 

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