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James, Lingard & the Man Utd outcasts who could be key to late-window signings
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James, Lingard & the Man Utd outcasts who could be key to late-window signings

01-Oct-2020, 03:25 pm

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The lack of new arrivals at Manchester United over the course of the summer window continues to dominate the headlines at Old Trafford as the transfer deadline begins to loom.

Wednesday's night's Carabao Cup win over Brighton illustrated the point perfectly.

United put in a sluggish performance on the south coast, with a number of players in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's line-up considered surplus this season, particularly if they are able to get a couple of signings over the line themselves.

No more so was that the case than with Diogo Dalot, who was the surprise inclusion at the Amex Stadium having made just onefirst-team appearance since March.

Having once been tipped by Jose Mourinho to follow in Gary Neville's footsteps and become an iconic right-back at Old Trafford, Dalot has failed to convince when given opportunities under Solskjaer, and the club would not be upset to see him leave.

The 21-year-old is not only behind Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the pecking order but also Timothy Fosu-Mensah;a player thateven the most optimistic United fan believed would never play for the first team again 12 months ago.

There is also excitement around teenage full-back Ethan Laird while Brandon Williams is naturally right-footed and may be more suited to playing there than on the left.

As such United will be hopeful that AC Milan follow through on their interest in Dalot before October 5.

Another who was given the opportunity to shine at the Amex Stadium was Daniel James, but the Wales international again flattered to deceive before being replaced midway through the second half.

After his fast start to life at United last season, James has struggled to truly establish himself and is seemingly beginning to lack confidence.

Hints of a potential departure were previously shot down during the January transfer window, but shoudl United sign the winger they want in the coming days - be that Jadon Sancho, Ousmane Dembele or someone else - then James would see his playing time restricted even further.

A loan move has been mooted, with Leeds United said to be interested having previously tried to sign James while he was still at Swansea City in January 2019.

The third player to make it onto the pitch against Brighton who could yet be moved on was Jesse Lingard, who had impressed against Luton Town in the previous round but was relegated to the bench against the Seagulls.

The England midfielder was introduced late on, and while all parties remain hopeful that he can rediscover his best form and become a mainstay for his boyhood club once more, there is a realisation that, at 27, Lingard needs to be playing far more regularly than he is right now.

As yet there are no clear options for Lingard in regards of interested parties, but there is still time for that to change with five days of the window to go.

While James and Lingard could conceivably still play roles as substitutes if required over the course of the campaign should they remain with United, the same cannot be said for a number of players who did not even make the trip to Brighton.

Centre-back is one position where Solskjaer is not short of options, but there is a clear gap between those he trusts and those he would rather see gone in a bid to raise funds.

Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly are the Norwegian's three senior options right now while academy graduates Axel Tuanzebe and Teden Mengi currently provide back-up to their more senior team-mates.

That leaves three players, all of whom are internationals, that Solskjaer sees no future for at United.

Chris Smalling should have been the easiest to get off the books. The former Fulham man impressed during his loan spell at Roma last season, and the Giallorossi are keen to bring him back to the Italian capital on a permanent basis.

United value Smalling at £20 million ($26m), and they are yet to receive a bid that comes anywhere close to meeting that. As such Smalling remains with the club, even if he has no chance of breaking back into the first-team picture.

The same can be said for both Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo, the latter of whom has at least entered the final year of his contract at Old Trafford.

Jones, however, remains tied to the club until the summer of 2023, and given his high wages is proving increasingly difficult to shift.

Even if the club are able to move on their unwanted trio of central defenders,Goalhas learned that signing a new centre-back is now no longer a priority and will instead be looked into next summer.

Behind the defence, United also have more senior goalkeepers than they need following Dean Henderson's return from his loan spell at Sheffield United.

The 23-year-old has impressed in both Carabao Cup games so far this season, with his performances only confirming that Sergio Romero is now firmly third-choice at the Theatre of Dreams.

As such, the Argentina international is open to a move away while there are a number of clubs who have shown an interest in signing, though nothing is yet close with time ticking down towards the deadline.

One player who United have been successful in moving on is Andreas Pereira, who should complete a season-long loan move to Lazio in the coming hours.

It is understood that the Serie A outfit will pay the midfielder's wages in full and have the option to make the move permanent in the summer, both of which are music to United's ears.

That is just one player, though, and United know they need to move on far more of their fringe players in their frantic bid to raise funds for one final push in the market.


Source : goal.com

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