We need 3 new CMs. Who do we sign?

Ikon

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Question is, how many Midfielders does a top squad need?
I just did a quick google at City's squad and they have 10 Midfielders, we currently have 7.

When you look at who those 7 are:
Mount, Bruno, Mainoo, yes you can envisage these being important players here longer term, but then you have:
Amrabat on loan, Eriksen & Casemiro and I cannot see any of those three making a hugely positive impact next season and beyond.
So, for me, those three need to be replaced sooner rather than later, and that's not even considering Donny & Hannibal out on loan, with potential sales ahead.

Also, don't forget that Fred, Sabitzer & Iqbal all departed recently too.

Finally, McTominay.....
Is he even anywhere near good enough?
For me, absolutely not good enough, but unless you could use him in an exchange deal, I think we are stuck with him for the forseeable future.

So you could argue that when you consider those that have left or are potentially leaving, we actually need 5, possibly even 6, ...!!!
 

GMoore23

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I'd keep :
Casemiro
Eriksen
Mainoo
Mount

Sell :
Bruno
McTominay

I'd Sign :
A long term creative replacement for Eriksen and a more advanced midfielder better than both Mount and Bruno.

That would result in :

Casemiro/Mainoo - New/Eriksen
New/Mount
 

BrilliantOrange

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Question is, how many Midfielders does a top squad need?
I just did a quick google at City's squad and they have 10 Midfielders, we currently have 7.

When you look at who those 7 are:
Mount, Bruno, Mainoo, yes you can envisage these being important players here longer term, but then you have:
Amrabat on loan, Eriksen & Casemiro and I cannot see any of those three making a hugely positive impact next season and beyond.
So, for me, those three need to be replaced sooner rather than later, and that's not even considering Donny & Hannibal out on loan, with potential sales ahead.

Also, don't forget that Fred, Sabitzer & Iqbal all departed recently too.

Finally, McTominay.....
Is he even anywhere near good enough?
For me, absolutely not good enough, but unless you could use him in an exchange deal, I think we are stuck with him for the forseeable future.

So you could argue that when you consider those that have left or are potentially leaving, we actually need 5, possibly even 6, ...!!!
Dont forget.. City's midfielders nationalities are Spanish, English, Portuguese, Norwegian, Croatian and Belgium as well...

We with only Bruno, Mount and Mainoo left only have Portuguese and English left, amongst our 5 or 6 new midfielders should be Norwegian, Spanish and Belgium players as well...
 

Overhaul FC

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Don't see it with him.
Ultimately he can do it all, tackle, foul, pass, run, assist and score for a CM.

When was the last time we had a central midfielder that could do all the basics?

Fred couldn't pass or score. McTominay can't pass or assist. Eriksen can't run or defend. Mount can't do much of anything.

We do need an all rounder to play with a CDM like Casemiro or Mainoo.
 

astracrazy

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I'd keep :
Casemiro
Eriksen
Mainoo
Mount

Sell :
Bruno
McTominay

I'd Sign :
A long term creative replacement for Eriksen and a more advanced midfielder better than both Mount and Bruno.

That would result in :

Casemiro/Mainoo - New/Eriksen
New/Mount
See I'm torn on this, because I can't wait to see how a Casemiro duo Mainoo turns out. If the balance works out well then I'd focus on a Casemiro long term replacement first.

Casemiro/New - Mainoo/Eriksen
New/Mount
 

daba

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I'd keep :
Casemiro
Eriksen
Mainoo
Mount

Sell :
Bruno
McTominay

I'd Sign :
A long term creative replacement for Eriksen and a more advanced midfielder better than both Mount and Bruno.

That would result in :

Casemiro/Mainoo - New/Eriksen
New/Mount
We should be all over Alex Scott at Bournemouth IMO. I also follow Bristol City where he was last year and won Young POTY in the champ over Amad, and I can honestly say he’s class. We should have signed him over Mount in the summer as he was half the price and much better suited to playing deeper in Eriksen’s role but can also play higher up in Bruno’s area too. Tactically flexible, creative, technical but also physical midfielder who can carry the ball.

Alongside Alex Scott, the likes of Thuram, Kone, Gourna-Douath, Wieffer, and obviously João Neves would be great additions.
 

Mingus

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Whoever we sign, height is a big consideration. Casemiro was important at set pieces last season and whereas Martinez is effective in general play his technique against bigger players at corners etc. is problematic.
Mainoo is taller than his often stated height online and may grow some more but he's no giant. McTominay gets game time for a reason.

This is part of the balance issues with team building that makes me think that Joao Neves would be unlikely, especially if Gore has a future here.
 

golden_blunder

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Whoever we sign, height is a big consideration. Casemiro was important at set pieces last season and whereas Martinez is effective in general play his technique against bigger players at corners etc. is problematic.
Mainoo is taller than his often stated height online and may grow some more but he's no giant. McTominay gets game time for a reason.

This is part of the balance issues with team building that makes me think that Joao Neves would be unlikely, especially if Gore has a future here.
I agree, we need some height added. Out of a whole squad 3-4 are useful in the air.

Gore in my opinion does not make the cut for United. He will be another that brings us in 8-12m
 

aeh1991

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Arthur Vermeeren should be our no.1 CM target
He doesn't cost much and has an undeniable talent (strongly linked to Atleti, Barcelona, Spurs, Brighton). Spending another 100m on Neves would be repeating past mistakes. And he's already better than Hjulmand (60m). We need to make a lot of signings, so clever transfers that leaves us some flexibility for other transfers are the way to go.
 

daba

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Arthur Vermeeren should be our no.1 CM target
He doesn't cost much and has an undeniable talent (strongly linked to Atleti, Barcelona, Spurs, Brighton). Spending another 100m on Neves would be repeating past mistakes. And he's already better than Hjulmand (60m). We need to make a lot of signings, so clever transfers that leaves us some flexibility for other transfers are the way to go.
We have to hope players like Vermeeren stick around at their clubs until the summer. Don't see us making moves like this this January but hopefully in the next 3 weeks our senior level structure will be more or less in place (or confirmed) and we can get to work early to prepare for the summer business.
 

Mylock

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Vermeeren would have been a very good purchase but it looks like he's going to ath madrid, this is the type of signing we should be making.
 

Woziak

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We need premier league proven on 2 of the three signings and then a one risk overseas

I just don’t see it as simple a buying 3 midfielders, we need to think who we can release, sell, loan and how much we can get for them. United want to play 4-1-2-3 or 4-2-3-1 which means we need players who can play in that system, we probably need 6/7 midfielders with the 7th option being a youngster like Kobie Mainoo.

Personally we have to keep Mount and Bruno, simply because we can’t get rid of everyone in one window so we have to release Amrabat, sell Casemiro if we get a stupid bid of £35m and personally I’d get creative with Eriksen and sell to Brentford for £15m. We need to sell Scott Mctominay, even though he doesn’t want to leave hopefully for £30m. Let’s assume we get £70m for 3 players out plus we assign £60-70m of a potential £250m budget in the summer.

We need a true Physical CDM that knows PL Number6/8 - Options Paulinho, B Kamara or A Onana Price £50-55m


New Young CM - or Alex Garcia (Girona) -£15m or Jao Neves £40m


We need a number 8 but flexible PL experience - I’d look at Alex Scott or Jacob Ramsey or M Gibbs White - Price £50m
I’d Also get a wildcard in like Ross Berkeley on a free, he’s on 30k per week we give him £60k per week on a 12 month contract and he offers more legs than Eriksen and he’s 2 years younger.

So I would be looking for our 7 midfield options to be - Paulinho, J Neves,
K Mainoo, R Berkeley,J Ramsey or A Scott, M Mount, Bruno.

Ok no real creative superstar bar Bruno but that midfield works hard and controls games. It also has goals and it only Bruno, Barkley and Paulinho are 29/30 the rest are young energetic players.
 
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aeh1991

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Vermeeren would have been a very good purchase but it looks like he's going to ath madrid, this is the type of signing we should be making.
Yes, a great signing for them. He will cost +80m in near future..
 

golden_blunder

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Onana, Redonda, Neves

+ Mainoo, Bruno

I’d listen to offers for McTominay, Casemiro, Eriksen

hard working midfield.
 

Bondi77

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Wouldn't have a clue....I will have to watch United Stand to formulate an opinion.
 

luke511

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@MC89 Do you think Matt O’Riley has what it takes to make it at a club like Utd? I see Atletico have taken a strong interest in him recently.
 

United888

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Onana, Redonda, Neves

+ Mainoo, Bruno

I’d listen to offers for McTominay, Casemiro, Eriksen

hard working midfield.
I agree with this. I like Casemiro but he shouldn’t be part of our rebuilding project due to his age and he is on high wages and we need to reset our wages structure. Getting rid Casemiro’s salary alone (18m per year) without taking into account the transfer fees is almost like freeing a space to buy 1 player. Eriksen doesn’t have the capability to play in high intense and aggressive pressing set up so I‘d listen to offer for Eriksen. As for McTominay, he’s not good enough and not press resistant to play in deep position and we don’t need player with limited ability like him as no 10 either.

Minimum, I will go with 2 midfielders this summer (budget 100m-110m for both may be with max wages 150k-160k pw) who can play in high intensity, aggressive pressing, and has flair to beat opposition pressing. One is someone to play next to Mainoo and the other one is a midfielder who can cover Mainoo and Onana if one of them got injured.

Mainoo - Onana
Bruno / Mount​
 

Woziak

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I’m not so sure we’re going to replace 3 CM’s in the summer there’s just to much to do in one window with a new infrastructure, DOF, Head of Recruitment, CEO and potential new Manager.

The Ineos team will be more concerned with outgoings first, let’s assume the obvious players being released, loaned or sold;
AWB - Will be sold £20-25m wages £6m
R Varane - Will be released wages £18m
V Lindelof- Will be sold £20m wages £6m
T Malacia - Will be loaned wages £3m
A Fernandez - sold £6m wages £1m
H Mezbri - Sold £15m wages £2m
DVB - Sold £9m wages £6m
Amravat - loan finished save £4m wages
Casemiro - Sold £25m wages £18m
Antony - Sold £20m. Wages £10m
Martial - Released. Wages £12m
Greenwood - Sold £40m wages £5m
Pellistri - Loan Wages £2m

I genuinely think Maguire, Mctominay will stay because of attitude and they align more with INEOS vision of good British pros with good attitudes, I also think it will be nye on impossible to sell sancho when he’s on £15-16m per season, so his loan will be extended or a new manager will welcome him back.

To actually install a new infrastructure and then facilitate 10/11 players going out before you buy is nye on impossible!

Who takes Antony? He’s on £200k per week you may be able to send him to Juventus or Spain but that’s a tough sell. We would keep Mctominay, Mainoo, Ericsen, Mount and Bruno in Midfield so United would definitely need two replacements, a genuine number 6 and ball playing CM.

We can spend and probably need to spend £100m on these two. For me Paulinho from Fulham for £50m, he’s 29 might be overpaying but you know exactly what you’re getting and then go get two other midfielders. I would get Ross Barkley on a free at 30 he’s perfect and his wages are £3-4m per year or go get Redondo for £10m from Argentina then go get the best young English Midfielder coming through like Jacob Ramsey or Alex Scott.

I think I’d probably promote Dan Gore before sending him on a PL loan as well so we have a good blend of youth and experience of ; *Paulinho, K Mainoo, D Gore
Federicho Redondo or *R Barkley, M Mount, C Eriksen, B Fernandez, *J Ramsey. We could upgrade our options for probably £100m and then in the Jan window look to replace Eriksen with F Witz or J Neves
 
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devilish

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We won't have an unlimited budget so that needs to be taken into account.

The worst mistake United can do is to see departments in isolation rather then how everything fit together. Take for example Martinez. Everyone said that having a pocket sized CB isn't an issue anymore. After all we're playing in 2023 not the 1950s anymore. Yet having CBs who aren't exactly great in air (Martinez but also Lindelof) meant that we're dependent on inches at other areas in the pitch. Since Casemiro, Mainoo, Bruno and Mount are hardly giants then.....arise Sir McTominay and goodbye ball possession football or any sort of football that requires well things such as passing or retaining the ball. You win and you lose as a team. Thus either we add a couple of CBs that are good in air like Scalvini is or else we have to add CM's that are tall.

CM must also take in account the flanks. We currently have 4 selfish wingers who think that they are prime Cristiano Ronaldo. The only similarities with the guy is their work rate on the pitch. Thus we need wingers that can either cover alot of distance or else provide loads of goals and assists. From a purely football perspective Greenwood would be perfect as a RW. He is a generational homegrown talent, he can play as RW and as STK and with 4 assists under his belt he's among the top 5 assist right wingers at the top 5 leagues (U23). That's amazing considering that the rest play with either better clubs (Saka, Foden and Neto) or easier leagues (Simons). I would have a look at Bryan Mbeumo of Brentford. He's currently 7th in the EPL in terms of distance covered, he's got an eye to goal (7 goals in the EPL including against Spurs and Chelsea) and a respectable 3 assists.

What we surely don't need is another no 10. We already have bucketloads of those. Thus I'd go for midfielders who are either DMs, deep playing playmakers/B2B or can cover both roles. If Chelsea are considering selling Conor Gallagher then we should consider it. He's tall, in terms of distance covered he's 5th and ahead of Rice and just 4 behind the English international in terms of interceptions. I would consider Ederson (Atalanta) and Genoa's DM Morten Frendrup.
 
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MC89

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@MC89 Do you think Matt O’Riley has what it takes to make it at a club like Utd? I see Atletico have taken a strong interest in him recently.
good player that can find a pass and score a goal , £30 million and he’s yours.
 

Isotope

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We won't have an unlimited budget so that needs to be taken into account.

The worst mistake United can do is to see departments in isolation rather then how everything fit together. Take for example Martinez. Everyone said that having a pocket sized CB isn't an issue anymore. After all we're playing in 2023 not the 1950s anymore. Yet having CBs who aren't exactly great in air (Martinez but also Lindelof) meant that we're dependent on inches at other areas in the pitch. Since Casemiro, Mainoo, Bruno and Mount are hardly giants then.....arise Sir McTominay and goodbye ball possession football or any sort of football that requires well things such as passing or retaining the ball. You win and you lose as a team. Thus either we add a couple of CBs that are good in air like Scalvini is or else we have to add CM's that are tall.

CM must also take in account the flanks. We currently have 4 selfish wingers who think that they are prime Cristiano Ronaldo. The only similarities with the guy is their work rate on the pitch. Thus we need wingers that can either cover alot of distance or else provide loads of goals and assists. From a purely football perspective Greenwood would be perfect as a RW. He is a generational homegrown talent, he can play as RW and as STK and with 4 assists under his belt he's among the top 5 assist right wingers at the top 5 leagues (U23). That's amazing considering that the rest play with either better clubs (Saka, Foden and Neto) or easier leagues (Simons). I would have a look at Bryan Mbeumo of Brentford. He's currently 7th in the EPL in terms of distance covered, he's got an eye to goal (7 goals in the EPL including against Spurs and Chelsea) and a respectable 3 assists.

What we surely don't need is another no 10. We already have bucketloads of those. Thus I'd go for midfielders who are either DMs, deep playing playmakers/B2B or can cover both roles. If Chelsea are considering selling Conor Gallagher then we should consider it. He's tall, in terms of distance covered he's 5th and ahead of Rice and just 4 behind the English international in terms of interceptions. I would consider Ederson (Atalanta) and Genoa's DM Morten Frendrup.
Agreed with this take, man.

And yes, i'd take Gallagher in a heart beat. Not many here rate him, but I think he has high ceiling as CM and creative player. He has very good engine also.

A DM with him and Mainoo in midfield, will set us up for years.

Any chance Chelsea get bored with him, while looking for a new toy @duffer ?
 

aeh1991

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Linked with Martin Zubimendi? Would be a really good signing. Has a release clause of 60m euros.
 

Rozay

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I think we should see if we can get Tchouameni out of Madrid personally. They may welcome a good fee for him this summer.
 

The White Pele

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Ok, hear me out. I was thinking this even before Xavi announced he was leaving but with Barcelona seemingly falling short in La Liga this season it seemed likely to me that there would be a significant refresh of their team.

Could De Jong be back on the table 2 years after our initial pursuit? He’s still only 26 and remains one of the world’s best at keeping the ball and progressing play. The problem is Ten Hag will have lost a lot of faith and trust in his transfer choices after the likes of Antony and therefore it would need full support of the club. I’m not sure De Jong would meet the profile of player that Ineos would target due to his wages.

Another one that really interests me is Oscar Zambrano from Ecuador. He was linked with us fleetingly in January and obviously passes the YouTube eye test. He was linked more heavily with a number of other clubs including Bournemouth, Luton and Rangers for a fairly modest fee and it seemed a move of some kind was on the cards in the window and yet he remained in Ecuador. Could it be that a bigger club declared their interest but wanted to wait until the summer? Possibly for FFP reasons?

Others we’ve been linked with such as Joao Neves, Redondo and Javi Guerra I have some reservations about.

Ideally we sign top talents for both DM and number 8 and then with Mainoo’s ability to play both roles we will be in fantastic shape: New DM, Mainoo, new CM, Bruno, Mount.

Casemiro and McTominay potentially moved on.
 

croadyman

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I think we should see if we can get Tchouameni out of Madrid personally. They may welcome a good fee for him this summer.
Well INEOS certainly like a challenge which we saw with the Berrada appointment. Think it would still take a miracle to lure him away though
 

Rozay

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Well INEOS certainly like a challenge which we saw with the Berrada appointment. Think it would still take a miracle to lure him away though
Every top club now needs to make decisions, and can’t simply stockpile top players. If Real want to target Mbappe and Davies and heaven knows who else, they may be open to a big sale to balance books. They are quite covered in midfield, and I think Tchouameni would be a good double pivot partner with Mainoo. We could use some physicality, although I’d always make an exception for FDJ if he were back on the table.

It also depends on what specific midfield role we want Mainoo to have long term.
 

croadyman

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Ok, hear me out. I was thinking this even before Xavi announced he was leaving but with Barcelona seemingly falling short in La Liga this season it seemed likely to me that there would be a significant refresh of their team.

Could De Jong be back on the table 2 years after our initial pursuit? He’s still only 26 and remains one of the world’s best at keeping the ball and progressing play. The problem is Ten Hag will have lost a lot of faith and trust in his transfer choices after the likes of Antony and therefore it would need full support of the club. I’m not sure De Jong would meet the profile of player that Ineos would target due to his wages.

Another one that really interests me is Oscar Zambrano from Ecuador. He was linked with us fleetingly in January and obviously passes the YouTube eye test. He was linked more heavily with a number of other clubs including Bournemouth, Luton and Rangers for a fairly modest fee and it seemed a move of some kind was on the cards in the window and yet he remained in Ecuador. Could it be that a bigger club declared their interest but wanted to wait until the summer? Possibly for FFP reasons?

Others we’ve been linked with such as Joao Neves, Redondo and Javi Guerra I have some reservations about.

Ideally we sign top talents for both DM and number 8 and then with Mainoo’s ability to play both roles we will be in fantastic shape: New DM, Mainoo, new CM, Bruno, Mount.

Casemiro and McTominay potentially moved on.
The Nou Camp could be burning behind him and we're challenging for Champions League & Premier League but he still wouldn't leave
 

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Onana at Everton and Thuram are two of my favorites that should be available this summer. I'd also look to sell Bruno and bring in a replacement while we can still get a very good fee for him. We manage to do that and we can really get a quality attacking mid in (Wirtz being my preference).

McT and Eriksen should be gone, and possibly Casemiro as well if we get a decent bid for him.
 

Toshey

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Keep an eye out for Ilia Gruev at Leeds.
Could develop into elite CM, they seem to adore him and they'll provably go up this year.
 

Nobby style

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Edson Alvarez is pretty much all we need. Thought he was comfortably the best man on the pitch last match against West Ham. Every time I've seen him, granted not that much, he's been fantastic, doing it all in the midfield. Creates, does the dirty work, dribbles out of trouble, passes well, not sure how well he shoots. Would be great next to Mainoo, Casemiro, Ericksen, Mount . . . They'd propably want Rice money for him now, though. How did Ten Hag miss out on him?
 

daba

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Onana at Everton and Thuram are two of my favorites that should be available this summer. I'd also look to sell Bruno and bring in a replacement while we can still get a very good fee for him. We manage to do that and we can really get a quality attacking mid in (Wirtz being my preference).

McT and Eriksen should be gone, and possibly Casemiro as well if we get a decent bid for him.
Thuram for me over Onana. Should be a fair bit cheaper and his ball carrying is second to none. Probably not as defensively robust as Onana but he’s no slouch and I think we miss ball carrying in the team more than anything.