Manchester United have been tipped to specifically target Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff and Lyon striker Moussa Dembele in the January transfer window as the club looks to strengthen the squad after what is currently their worst ever start to a Premier League season.
For the first time in years, United look to have implemented a genuine transfer strategy over the summer when Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire all arrived. The likes of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez were subsequently allowed to leave without being replaced, but injuries have since ensured that United now have a lack of options in midfield and up front.
The Daily Star claims that United are prepared to spend big midway through the season to try and rectify that, with Longstaff and Dembele potentially costing a combined £90m.
Longstaff, who has started four of Newcastle’s Premier League games this season since returning from injury, was a major target for United during the summer, despite only minimal professional experience, but they were put off by the Magpies’ lofty valuation.
The Star alleges United are hopeful the ‘current crisis on Tyneside’ will force relegation-threatened Newcastle to consider selling Longstaff in January at a slightly lower price of £40m.
In addition to Longstaff, the tabloid claims that United are eyeing a £50m deal for Dembele after watching the 23-year-old forward in action ‘several times’ already this season.
The former Fulham and Celtic star has been in fine form for Lyon, where he is a teammate of ex-United winger Memphis Depay, netting six times in seven Ligue 1 games to jointly lead the French division’s goalscoring charts at this early stage of the campaign.
But United are not limiting themselves with their targets, with 90min reporting earlier this week that the Old Trafford club are also monitoring prolific Atalanta forward Duvan Zapata and teenage Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali in their search for new stars.
Zapata, in particular, is one of several potential strikers being considered, so it would make sense for United to also be tracking Dembele, and probably a few others. Tonali, meanwhile, perfectly represents the club’s attempts to unearth unpolished gems to develop in-house.