Two Ins And Two Outs That Could Happen At Manchester United This Summer
Manchester United have had another below-par season under the new management of Jose Mourinho. The Red Devils were expected to get back to their imperious selves under the Portuguese, especially after bringing in world class players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the summer.
But a series of draws at home have meant that United have been unable to challenge for the Premier League title. They sit 5th in the table, with Champions League football hopes looking bleak. Mourinho has led the 20-time league winners to the FA Cup Community Shield and EFL Cup triumphs and they still stand a chance of winning the UEFA Europa League, having made it to the semi-finals of the competition. If they do manage to qualify for the Champions League either via the Europa League victory or through their league position, the season will be considered a step in the right direction under Jose.
However, they will need to come back stronger next season if they are to wrestle away the bragging rights in the league from the likes of Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. To achieve that, Mourinho has begun planning for the upcoming transfer window, which could see another huge upheaval at Old Trafford as quite a few members of the first-team may be headed for the exit doors, with a number of stars arriving. Here are two transfer ins and outs that are likely to happen at United over the summer:
The young left-back was considered as the future of United when he made the big-money move from Southampton two seasons back. But things have hardly gone according to plans for Shaw and he may find himself out of Old Trafford in the summer.
A serious injury that he suffered last season meant that he couldn’t start the ongoing campaign on a strong note, with Mourinho questioning his attitude. Another injury setback meant that he missed few more months of action and hence the Portuguese manager froze him out of the first team picture for a while, before reinstating him into the team recently. But another injury on Sunday against Swansea City could sound the death knell to his time at Old Trafford.
The club’s captain and leading goalscorer has struggled over the past two years and has been extremely poor this season. Rooney may have broken Sir Bobby Charlton’s record for most number of goals for the club but has managed just 7 goals this season from 33 games.
He is just 31 years of age but seems to have lost almost all aspects of his game that made him one of the most feared centre-forwards during his heydeys. His touch seems to have deserted him, the pace is not there and the natural goal-scoring instincts he possessed has also waned down.
There were offers from the Chinese Super League in the winter window while former club Everton also remain interested in bringing him back and it is very unlikely that he will stay with United beyond this season.
The United academy graduate has grown into one of the best centre-halves in the Premier League this season with Burnley and is being chased by Mourinho among other top clubs.
Keane has made a total of 39 appearances across all competitions this season and hasn’t missed a single league game for the Clarets. He has also chipped in with 2 goals and an assist. His defensive nous at the back has been one of the major reasons for Burnley being so close to confirming their Premier League status for another season.
United have been troubled by injuries to key defenders throughout the course of the season and Mourinho sees the 24-year old as the right answer to his problems. Keane too remains intent on returning to the club where it all began for him, and this could very well happen in the summer.
Griezmann has developed into one of the most lethal forwards in the game in recent years with Atletico Madrid and has continued his excellent form this campaign as well. The versatile 26-year old has scored 25 times and has also registered 11 assists from 48 games this term. He has also led the charge for Los Rojiblancos in the Champions League.
Uncertainties surrounding the future of the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic and captain Wayne Rooney would leave United very thin at the top with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial as the only options. So signing a marquee striker in the summer should be on top of the priorities for the Red Devils and Griezmann could be the right man to carry the team forward.