Man United can land £135m transfer windfall to help seal deal for prodigy as wonderkid 'eyed'

Desire Doue
-Credit: (Image: Philippe Lecoeur)

Manchester United have been linked with a number of central midfielders since the summer transfer window opened. From Joao Neves and Adrien Rabiot to Amadou Onana, the list has seemed to be added too each week.

Erik ten Hag already has considerable depth in midfield after the signing of Mason Mount last summer and the fortunate breakthrough of Kobbie Mainoo from the academy. Mount's debut season in Manchester was plagued with injuries but Mainoo's displays added valuable technical and tactical quality to the middle of the park.

Casemiro, Christian Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes were Ten Hag's first choice trio in his first season at club with Scott McTominay continuing to prove his importance when called-upon. However, the area of United's squad does remain to be their weakest of the lot.

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Question marks over Casemiro's ability to perform on the biggest stage will continue to lurk into the new season amid intense speculation linking him with Saudi Arabia. The Brazilian is valued at €20m (£16.9m) by Transfermarkt but any potential exit could see him sold for slightly cheaper.

Casemiro isn't the only United star facing an exit this summer and new sporting director Dan Ashworth is understood to be planning on raising funds with player sales.

Harry Maguire's time at Old Trafford is reportedly all but over while centre-back partner Victor Lindelof is wanted by Jose Mourinho at Fenerbahce. Right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, if reports in Turkey are to be believed, is keen on moving to Galatasaray. Between the midfield trio, their market value totals €53m (£44.9m) according to Transfermarkt.

In midfield, Premier League side Fulham are plotting a move to sign Scott McTominay. The Scotland international, who is valued at €32m (£27m) was close to leaving the club last summer but a move to West Ham collapsed. One player who is almost certain to leave United is Donny van de Beek, who is close to sealing a move to La Liga side Girona for £500k.

Jadon Sancho and Mason Greenwood don't seem to have a future at United but the task of finding possible suitors willing to pay their high asking prices has, so far, proved to be difficult. With a joint market value of €55m (£46.5m), the club are looking to cash-in on their services while the demand is high.

So, all going well, United are set to receive a whopping €160m (£135.5m) transfer windfall via player sales. That figure will be music to Ashworth's ears and would certainly help them in their hopes of signing Joshua Zirkzee and Matthijs de Ligt.

However, the triple midfield departure of Casemiro, Van de Beek and McTominay would place further emphasis on prioritising a new signing in that position. That's why it's no surprise to see the Red Devils join the race for highly-talented French star Desire Doue.

Doue, 19, emerged as one of Europe's most promising players last season after appearing 31 times for Rennes in Ligue 1. One of his biggest attributes is his ability to play across a wide range of positions so early in his career.

He often played in central midfield or off the left for Rennes, pointing towards his incredible versatility developed at such a young age. According to The Sun, United have joined the battle to sign the France Under-21 international with Paris Saint-Germain, Tottenham and Chelsea keen.

The report adds that Doue has been identified as a 'top priority' for the two London clubs, with them keen to conclude a deal this week. Valued at €30m (£25.4m), United's movement to sell players could hijack a potential move to London to bring him to Old Trafford to add further potential to Ten Hag's side.

There is also the desperate need for a natural central midfielder to be signed at Old Trafford. Neves or Rabiot are the preferred targets with the latter currently available for free after the expiry of his Juventus contract.