Manchester United appear to be formulating a recruitment plan for multiple upcoming transfer windows, with the latest gossip claiming the club is ideally targeting a three in/three out policy for next summer, with four young England internationals on their radar by then.
There has been no shortage of transfer talk surrounding United since August after the summer recruitment drive felt somewhat unfinished when ultimately only Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire arrived at Old Trafford.
The Manchester Evening News suggests United have identified Leicester duo James Maddison and Ben Chilwell, West Ham midfielder Declan Rice and Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho as players they would like to bring in over the next two windows – January and summer.
The names themselves are actually nothing new, with United already linked with each.
90min reported a little over two weeks ago that United are ‘confident’ of being able to sign Sancho in the summer of 2020, even though Dortmund will ask £150m as they value the teenager higher than Ousmane Dembele, who joined Barcelona for an initial €105m in 2017.
But it is perhaps the overall plan, which apparently also includes Paul Pogba staying, despite the ongoing uncertainty over his future, that is most interesting about the MEN report.
Provisionally, at least, United are said be targeting a ‘full-back, midfielder, forward and striker’. Whether that is the exact quartet as already mentioned is not completely clear, as it is also noted that the club is ‘compiling a long list of targets’.
But that does concur what 90min’s understanding of the situation, with Atalanta forward Duvan Zapata and Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali also being considered among many possible options to strengthen the squad.
Other gossip from elsewhere has added Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff, a player United have so far refused to pay over the odds for, and Lyon striker Moussa Dembele to the mix.
It seems as though there will be more outgoings, too, as the MEN suggests the club had expected more players to leave in the most recent transfer window than actually did.
With United said to be to targeting three summer signings as a general rule, it points to a serious attempt to sign at least one player in January – attacking areas are most in need.
The problem with trying to land Sancho or Maddison then is that their club would certainly resist selling mid-season. That is where alternatives, like Zapata, may have to come into it in the short term, even though the overall commitment remains building for the long-term.