Manchester United Transfer News: Santos Midfielder Thiago Maia on Mourinho’s Wishlist

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Manchester United Transfer News

With the winter transfer window closing in slowly, there have been a huge amount of speculation and rumours going on in correspondence with Manchester United’s first team, which have failed to perform to their expected potential so far. The last transfer window saw newly appointed United manager Jose Mourinho spend a whopping £150 million as he went on to sign a number of top class players in the form of Paul Pogba(Juventus), Eric Bailly (Villareal) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan(Borussia Dortmund) along with Zlatan Ibrahimovic sealing a Bosman free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain. However, things haven’t worked out quite exactly as planned as United currently stand 8th in the league table with 4 wins, 3 draws and 3 losses currently training league leaders and city rivals Manchester City by 8 points in the table. So in this article, we will shed some lights on some probable Manchester United transfer rumours and news which are expected to take place in this upcoming winter transfer window.

With the ‘Special One’ at the helm, there is no doubt about the fact that squad changes will be frequent pertaining to the impatient nature of the manager but maybe United fans are banking on the very fact that Mourinho does incorporate a tactical change in the team and bring in fresh players to try and make a comeback at least among the top four in the league not to forget Champions League qualification as well.

United currently have 12 first-team players out on international duty after Marouane Fellaini was sent home with a calf injury. The Belgian joins Eric Bailly and Antonio Valencia on United’s ever-growing injury list, and there is significant doubt surrounding the fitness of Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw after they missed the 3-1 win over Swansea.

As for the squad changes, deductions and additions doing the rounds now in the build up to the winter transfer season, it does seem that some of these will eventually materialise and United might just make enough signings in order to come up with a complete squad to pose a threat to the top contenders in the league so far.

Here is a list of all the player rumours linked to transfer to/from Manchester United in the forthcoming winter transfer window.

Manchester United Transfer News & Rumours

Thiago Maia : In?

Jose Mourinho’s CDM woes have been significant with the club not having a specific defensive midfielder in their side. Back when the Portuguese took over the reigns of the club, he laid special stress on the fact that he would be playing specialist players in his side who would excel in their specific position in the field of play. And it seems that the former Real Madrid and Chelsea manager has eyes fixed on 19-year-old Brazilian defensive midfielder, Thiago Maia. The Santos starlet who is reportedly being targeted by other top tier clubs like Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain have been closely monitored by Mourinho in the past couple of months with the Portugues quite eager to rope in the player and bring him to Old Trafford. The Santos midfielder is rated as one of the hottest properties in South American football and was part of the Brazil squad that won Olympic gold at Rio 2016 having 57 appearances at the top tier of football for his country.

19 year old Santos midfielder Thiago Maia is on Jose Mourinho’s wishlist for the upcoming Winter transfer window which starts in January.

Maia made history in the summer as he became the first person from the state of Roraima to represent Brazil in any sport at the Olympics. The midfielder’s current deal with Santos expires in 2019, while the Brazilian club owns 72% of the player’s economic rights.

Rumour Believability: Moderate

In spite of the United boss’s eager interest to sign the midfielder, there is a high probability that Ligue 1 club Paris Saint Germain might beat him to it. The French Champions have been reportedly preparing a £17million offer for the for the 19-year-old. Also, the young Brazilian admitted his desires to play for PSG rather than the bigger older clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona. Whether Mourinho will shell out a transfer request which the Brazilian club would turn down will only be confirmed once the transfer window opens in January.

David Alaba : In?

Yes, what might seem to be an improbable transfer wish, Jose Mourinho, being the optimist he is will still go for it. The current United Squad already has two left backs in the likes of Luke Shaw and Mateo Darmian but it seems that the Portuguese manager is not satisfied with his existing left backs and especially their inability to overlap in case of counter attacks. Something which was a pivotal part of his gameplay during his time at Real Madrid and Chelsea.

Perhaps, one of the most versatile defenders going forward, Bayern Munich’s Austrian Left back David Alaba is a massive prospect for the position of left back and is sought after by a lot of the big clubs of today. The versatile 24-year-old defender might well and truly be hailed as the perfect player for the position of a Left Wing Back with his blistering pace and attacking prowess going forward.

24 year old Austrian full back David Alaba is on Jose Mourinho’s wishlist of Summer transfer acquisitions.

According to the Sunday People, Mourinho is also keen – and personally watched the left-back, and midfielder Baumgartlinger, twice on Austria duty last week when the defender played against the Republic of Ireland and Slovakia for his national side. The Special One is desperate for reinforcements in the position after being unimpressed by Luke Shaw since taking over in the summer.

Rumour Believability: Low

Alaba is also under contract at Bayern until 2021 and will attract interest from other heavyweight clubs, so United could be forced to pay well over the odds, in the way that they did for Pogba. Mourinho’s side aren’t the only ones in pursuit of the defender however with Manchester City lining up a blockbuster £40million summer transfer request for the Austrian. The Bavarian manager Carlo Ancelotti, who claims that Alaba will get better with every passing season considers the player an important multi-functional asset to the team and Mourinho’s intention of roping in the defender might just not pan out as he expects it will.

Antoine Griezmann : In?

Yes, Atletico Madrid seems to be linked up with United this transfer window multiple times as taking into account the most recent of events, Antoine Griezmann is the latest entry to the huge rumour list surrounding Manchester United. The French forward has been stellar form since the last couple of seasons reaching both the Euro 2016 finals as well as  the Champions League final under Diego Simeone at Atletico and it seems the Griezmann wants to fellow national team player Paul Pogba to the Old Trafford soon enough. Scoring over 30 goals for his club, the French Forward was named La Liga’s best player ahead of Real’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi who held the award amongst themselves for the past 7 years.

Antoine Griezmann has conveyed interests to play for Manchester United to France team-mate Paul Pogba.

Griezmann did admit that he would like to play alongside France team-mate Paul Pogba at club level in the future. And Jose Mourinho will not be one to ignore the advances of a good player and especially someone who is as influential at the front like Griezmann. Considering the fact that signing Suarez from Barcelona is a long shot and Ibrahimovic’s age a ticking factor, ‘The Special One’ will be more than delighted to bring in the striker.

Rumour Believability: Low

In spite of Griezmann’s immense desire to play for United, chances of the Frenchman arriving at the Old Trafford are really slim as he only just signed a contract extension with Atletico which won’t expire for a further four seasons at least. This ensures the Spanish club can put a pretty hefty price tag on the forward, who shows no sign of slowing down, with six goals in nine games already this season. United have already broken the bag signing Pogba in the last window and chances of them doing it again for Griezmann’s are almost negligible as the Frenchman looks well above United’s reach for now.

Update(November 21,2016): Atletico’s loss to Real Madrid in the first derby of the season might have propelled some talks of the Frenchman departing from Simeone’s side to either Real Madrid or Manchester United but  Atletico president Enrique Cerezo is confident Griezmann will stay put at the Vicente Calderon and insists there’s no way a deal could be struck with Zinedine Zidane.

Mesut Ozil : In?

Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil is in scintillating form with his goal against Ludogrets going down as one of the best individual goals in the history. The German has maintained a good relationship with Mourinho since they won the Spanish title together at Real Madrid in 2012 at a time when the United Boss hailed Ozil as the “best number 10 in the world.”

The World Cup winner has been perhaps the most consistent and influential player in Arsene Wenger’s side but the club’s lack of trophies has surely propelled rumours of Ozil leaving the club to a more trophy yielding team.  According to the Sun, already the club’s highest-paid player on £140,000 a week and Arsenal are praying that he extends a contract which ends in 2018 with raise of  £20,000-a-week which still stands way short the £250,000 a week United are willing to pay him. There have been questions revolving around the fact about Ozil’s possible role in Mourinho’s side but the Portuguese will be more than delighted to have the services of the German in attacking midfield alongside Paul Pogba and will look forward to the services of the German at the Old Trafford next year.

Mourinho had Ozil as one his talismanic chance creators back at the Bernabau during Real Madrid’s 2012 La Liga winning Season.

Rumour Believability: Very Low 

Manchester United’s signing of Mesut Ozil is believable on so many levels as a Mourinho-Ozil reunitement does seem quite an imminent possibility. However, a winter transfer does not look on the cards for a whole lot of reasons including the fact that Wenger’s Arsenal would do anything to keep Ozil at the Emirates for the remainder of the season and Ozil has to at least finish his contract with Arsenal at the very least which up until summer, even if he refuses to sign an extension.

Update(November 15, 2016): As of just a few hours ago, Ozil is reportedly closing in on a  £200,000-a-week deal to stay at the Emirates in London. This was unprecedented as keeping in mind his current form, there was no way Wenger would have let his talismanic midfielder leave the club. Ozil and his representatives have held further negotiations with the Gunners during this international break and seems to be well on his way to become the highest paid player at Arsenal. That does throw water on Mourinho’s reunion plans with Ozil as now, quite well and truly, the German will remain a Gunner.

Luis Suarez : In?

Mourinho might look to rope in Suarez from Barcelona as a long-term replacement for Zlatan in the winter transfer window

The biggest name coming in the list of probable Manchester United transfer rumours & news is Luis Suarez. Perhaps the most lethal finisher in the world of football at this very moment, Suarez is more than happy with his team-mates completing the formidable MSN trio with Messi and Neymar. However, the striker’s current contract is slated to keep him at the Nou Camp till 2019 but nevertheless, United are reportedly willing to part with £135million to sign the former Liverpool striker and significantly boost their forward options.

From a tactical perspective, Suarez will Mourinho the edge in his favoured 4-4-2 formation with Zlatan alongside which will allow him to use his midfielders freely in the middle of the park. The Uruguayan has already reached double figures for Barcelona so far this season and smashed in 59 goals in 53 appearances last term. What exactly is playing in Mourinho’s mind, however, is unknown and whether Suarez is a United prospect keeping in mind Ibrahimovic’s retirement is what only the “Special One” knows for now.

Rumour Believability: Very low.

Barca president Jose Luis Bartomeu has now revealed the club are already in discussions with Suarez’s representatives over extending his contract and according to the latest reports, the Uruguayan might just rope in a €16million (£14.1million) per season deal with the Catalans with a contract extending up until 2021.

Bruma: In?

Galatasaray’s 22-year-old striker Bruma is yet another hot transfer prospect for Jose Mourinho.

Jose Mourinho has always been inclined toward fact pacey players on the flanks, especially after his time at the Bernabeu and perhaps the Portuguese manager is lacking the same pace in the current manchester United squad. With a huge number of transfer speculations revolving big players, Mourinho’s latest entry to his wishlist is 22-year-old Bruma from Galatasaray. United scouts have watched the young winger on a couple of occasions and their reports will likely lead Mourinho to make a £8m offer to the Turkish club in January. The young winger was called up for Portugal’s squad after an impressive loan spell at Real Sociedad last season. He scored four goals in 10 games for Galatasaray this term and has already been closely followed by Spurs who are also targeting a transfer request for the Portuguese youngster.

Rumour Believability : High

It is in the blood of Manchester United to harness the talents of the best young prospects in the world and even though recent transfers have deviated from this tradition, one must keep faith in the fact that the club is still one of the best growing areas for young players like Bruma. Mourinho’s tactics, provided if Bruma does come to the Old Trafford are clear if accorded with his other transfer requests focusing on a pacey attack and the Portuguese winger’s transfer to Manchester might well be in line.

Wayne Rooney : Out?

Wayne Rooney
Age is not on Rooney’s side as the England striker might possibly inch for a move to China.

It seems that just like every other club, Mourinho has had a fallout again this time and it is with none other than Wayne Rooney. United have been struggling with players failing to perform in the attacking third consistently and it seems that keeping in mind the attacking reinforcements available in the form of Rashford and Martial, Mourinho might just give Rooney the boot. Rooney(31) may not have a lot of age on his side now and his playing time is far from over but the United Boss just doesn’t seem to find his faith in the English footballer anymore. Nevertheless, even if this particular rumour materialises, Rooney has a host of options to choose from including MLS side L.A Galaxy as well as Chinese side Shanghai SIPG who are literally waiting with bucketloads of cash to offer to the striker along with a reunion with his former England manager Sven Goran Eriksson.

Rumour Believability : Moderate

Jose Mourinho is stubborn and by now everyone knows that well and truly. And even though he will receive an enormous amount of stick from United fans if Rooney is given the boot, he will go forward with it provided he manages to find out another effective combination of players to try out in the attacking third of the pitch.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan: Out?

Mkhitaryan
Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s lack of playing time might just cut short stay at the Old Trafford.

The next name coming in the probable Manchester United transfer news & rumours is Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The Armenian midfielder’s absence from the United squad has been conspicuous recently, as the team flounders and founders with him not even sitting on the bench, and word around the camp is that he is the latest United Summer signing to be at the club for the briefest of periods getting almost no playing time at all. The 27-year-old has made just one start for the Red Devils since his £26million move from Dortmund in the summer but he’s yet to get going under Mourinho. The manager has been on the receiving end of a lot of criticism from United fans for benching the Armenian but completely putting the blame on him would be wrong again.

The former Borussia Dortmund player had been plagued with injuries previously and reports of him being a hundred percent match-fit have not been ample. And considering the fact that United do seem to be in a bit of a hurry to yield results, MMkhitaryanmight just find his name on the transfer list earlier than expected.

Rumour Believability: Moderate

Mourinho does have a host of midfield options at his disposal and his current tactics do not exactly dictate a requirement for the Armenian midfielder at present. However, selling him off this early does seem a bit absurd to the ears although Mkhitaryan has definitely reported concerns due to the lack of playing time he is getting and might just consider the talks of a move on a serious note.

Morgan Schneiderlin : Out?

Morgan Schneiderlin has played a crucial role in the midfield of Manchester United since his transfer from Southampton back in 2015. But the French footballer’s name down the team sheet have gone down since Mourinho took over the reigns of the club at the start of this season and it seems that finally, the midfielder might move to another team. Though the negotiation is for a loan, Schneiderlin might just complete a move to Seria A giants AC Milan in the forthcoming transfer Window as per reports from the club.

Morgan Schneiderlin slated to leave United to play on loan for Italian club AC Milan

According to an Italian website, AC Milan are lining up a loan deal for the midfielder in January. The report says Milan are keen to have the Frenchman on a temporary basis as a replacement for Riccardo Montolivo who has been ruled out with a long-term knee injury, with the view to making the deal permanent. Schneiderlin who has a contract at the Old Trafford till 2019 has also tweaked the interest of Crustal Palace and Spurs among others and it seems that United are quite keen to offload the 26-year-old midfielder.

Transfer Believability: High

Mourinho’s midfield options are unlimited here and the Portuguese will surely look for fresh recruits in the winter transfer window. Under these circumstances, Schneiderlin’s play time chances look fairly slim and the possibility of the midfielder moving to Italy soon is there in its fullest potential.

Jose Gimenez : In?

Atletico’s Jose Gimenez has definitely caught Jose Mourinho’s eyes as the United Boss looks for a solution to his defensive problems.

Jose Gimenez has already impressed football managers all around as one of Europe’s best young centre-backs in recent times with his scintillating form for Atletico. According to the Daily Mirror, the 21-year-old Uruguay international has a £56million release clause in his contract at the Vicente Calderon, and United might just come really close to seal that deal soon. According to many reports, United may be willing to invest as much as £50m in the youngster as the solution to their centre-half issues. Mourinho has been shuffling his defense line up quite a bit with Blind, Carrick, and Phil Jones playing in different combinations in different matches and it seems that he does need a specialist centre-half to fix problems at the back for United.

Transfer Believability: High

At this point, Atletico want Gimenez’s €65m (£57.8m) buy-out clause paid in full before any transfer for the Uruguayan defender and it seems that United are quite ready to comply.  Gimenez, who joined Atletico from Danubio in 2013, has been limited to just two appearances this season due to injury. He has less than two years left on his deal but if Mourinho remains stubborn to his demands, we might see the youngster training in Inited kit soon by the time the winter transfer window concludes.

Bastian Schweinsteiger : Out?

The German midfielder’s time at the Old Trafford did not go quite as what was expected when his transfer from Bayern Munich was seen through.  Despite Jose Mourinho making it clear to the 32-year-old that he would not figure in his plans, Schweinsteiger kept on rejecting his English and European suitors and was reportedly waiting for an offer to crop up in America’s MLS.

Bastian Schweinsteiger is reportedly looking at his options in MLS and has lined up a transfer request for American club Chicago Fire

Schweinsteiger had been training on his own at United’s Carrington training ground since July after being banished from the first team dressing room by Mourinho and now it seems that he has set his sights firmly on a move to the United States in January with Chicago Fire leading the chase for the German World Cup winner.

Rumour Believability: Very High.

Mourinho talked about Schweinsteiger’s transfer rumour as a “Human Decision” and it is quite clear that the United Boss will make no attempts to keep the former Bayern Munich midfielder at United.Chicago fire have now entered talks with Schweinsteiger in the hope of signing the player for the next MLS season, which begins in March., so a possible completed transfer by the time the winter transfer window ends is surely on the cards for the 32-year-old 2014 World Cup winner.

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