We need 3 new CMs. Who do we sign?

tomaldinho1

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Scholes’ ability to evade pressure was, as you said, largely down to his quick pass and move ability. He wasn’t a player who could dribble with it to a high level to step away from players.

The issue with these players is that you can’t just stick one of them in a midfield and now expect them to display these qualities. They need others to play with. If you’re spinning it round the corner and getting it back first time, you need a partner. Scholes/Carrick and Scholes/Keane both shared this ability. I think this is key for Mainoo and he will go up a level with someone on his wavelength next to him.
And so we reboot the FdJ hope again!

As a realistic option, somewhat left field but I liked him in La Liga. That Veiga kid who played for Vigo and went to Saudi was actually really good. Us, Pool and City got linked to him last year but he obviously followed the money. As that project stalls and he probably has realised his agent is now set for life convincing him to go there, I can’t imagine he wouldn’t be up for coming back to Europe. I think he’s worth a punt.
 

bond19821982

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We don't have a midfield. All we have is an inconsistent Casemiro and a baby in Mainoo. We need 2 starters this summer.

2 midfielders
2 Defenders
1 winger
1 forward

Jeez - that's minimum 200m.
 

Rozay

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We don't have a midfield. All we have is an inconsistent Casemiro and a baby in Mainoo. We need 2 starters this summer.

2 midfielders
2 Defenders
1 winger
1 forward

Jeez - that's minimum 200m.
200m isn’t that bad considering we should be looking to recoup half of that, conservatively.
 

cpresc

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Given Thuram is a 6/8 hybrid, perhaps him and Mainoo could run midfield as a two?

Would love to see a reboot of the old 1999 442.. beautiful

perhaps:


-------------- Hojlund --- Sesko --------------
---------------------------------------------------------
Garnacho --------------------------- Bruno
----------- Mainoo ------- Thuram ----------
Shaw --------------------------------------- Dalot
----------- Martinez ---- Varane ----------
----------------------- Onana ----------------------


Dalot and Bruno - the new Neville and Becks!
 

pacifictheme

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I have a really good idea and it's something we've not really tried for years but we should sign a player who ends up playing really well for us over a long period of time. Say five years or so. And then once we've signed them we should do that again in the same window with another one so we have three really good midfielders (including mainoo).

I think that would work.
 

appleman

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I have a really good idea and it's something we've not really tried for years but we should sign a player who ends up playing really well for us over a long period of time. Say five years or so. And then once we've signed them we should do that again in the same window with another one so we have three really good midfielders (including mainoo).

I think that would work.
No, I don't see that working.
 

Woziak

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John McGinns worth a punt. Good energy and we know he can play at a decent level.
He’s nearly 30 otherwise he would have been a great shout, United will be looking for 2 not 3 midfielders and it will be one Deep lying playmaker like Rabiot/Redondo and a high energy physical 8 like K Thurham/ A Onana.

Redondo off to Inter Miami if we can’t do anything that deal in 12months, something is very wrong.
 

gajender

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He’s nearly 30 otherwise he would have been a great shout, United will be looking for 2 not 3 midfielders and it will be one Deep lying playmaker like Rabiot/Redondo and a high energy physical 8 like K Thurham/ A Onana.

Redondo off to Inter Miami if we can’t do anything that deal in 12months, something is very wrong.
Redondo is he any good he is going For pretty low fee as well isn't it strange not even some Portuguese clubs went for him .

Cutting the hyperbole do you really think he would develop enough in 12 months in MLS to suddenly morph into some must buy where not buying him would be a mistake I seriously doubt that .
 

Okey

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Sir Jim is in now. Thuram (and Todibo) should really be shoo ins for us if we were interested. They fit the profile of what we're looking for in midfield (and defence).
 

Woziak

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Redondo is he any good he is going For pretty low fee as well isn't it strange not even some Portuguese clubs went for him .

Cutting the hyperbole do you really think he would develop enough in 12 months in MLS to suddenly morph into some must buy where not buying him would be a mistake I seriously doubt that .
Your see him in the Argentinian national team soon yes he’s good !
 

davidmichael

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I imagine Eriksen, Mejbri and VDB will all be moved on in the summer this leaving us Mainoo, Casemiro, McTominay and Fernandes and Mount with Gore also on the fringes so I think from that we’d need to bring two midfielders in.

The obvious one is Thuram with him at Nice and only a year left on his contract, he is a defensive box to box who’s full of stamina and a ball winner. I’d also go for Rabiot seeing as he’s on a free and has a good range of passing, great engine, good in the air, physically strong and coming into his prime years.

I’d love Joao Neves from Benfica and Kimmich from Bayern but you’re probably looking at £120 million for those two and we probably also need two centre backs, a winger and a striker so that’s 6 players coming in that would all need to be high quality or have massive potential.
 

diarm

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Given Thuram is a 6/8 hybrid, perhaps him and Mainoo could run midfield as a two?

Would love to see a reboot of the old 1999 442.. beautiful

perhaps:


-------------- Hojlund --- Sesko --------------
---------------------------------------------------------
Garnacho --------------------------- Bruno
----------- Mainoo ------- Thuram ----------
Shaw --------------------------------------- Dalot
----------- Martinez ---- Varane ----------
----------------------- Onana ----------------------


Dalot and Bruno - the new Neville and Becks!
I think you’d need upgrades on the right side of our defence for that to work, if it even could work in this day and age.

Dalot has improved, but I think you’d want a real attacking weapon from RB, someone with genuine pace and width on the overlap seeing as Bruno is naturally going to drift inside. Frimpong perhaps.

You’d also need someone younger, fitter and quicker than Varane at RCB to cover for that attacking RB.
 

daba

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I imagine Eriksen, Mejbri and VDB will all be moved on in the summer this leaving us Mainoo, Casemiro, McTominay and Fernandes and Mount with Gore also on the fringes so I think from that we’d need to bring two midfielders in.

The obvious one is Thuram with him at Nice and only a year left on his contract, he is a defensive box to box who’s full of stamina and a ball winner. I’d also go for Rabiot seeing as he’s on a free and has a good range of passing, great engine, good in the air, physically strong and coming into his prime years.

I’d love Joao Neves from Benfica and Kimmich from Bayern but you’re probably looking at £120 million for those two and we probably also need two centre backs, a winger and a striker so that’s 6 players coming in that would all need to be high quality or have massive potential.
Joao Neves summer 2025 x
 

Nobby style

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Signing another ex Ajax and ex Eredivisie player will surely delight the ETH out posters. It will vindicate their claims that he only knows his former players and they will use (keep using) that as another reason that he should be sacked.
To be honest, I don't even see Alvarez as an ex Ajax player, rather an excellent 6 or 8 option who can do it all in the midfield and very PL proven and just entering his prime years. We really need a midfielder of his capabilities.
 

NoPace

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Watched PSG-Real Sociedad and Merino really stood out, even before knowing he only has 1 year left on his deal. Physical, ran like a maniac for 85 minutes or so in a high press until he started to flag, completely marked his direct opponent (Zaire-Emery) out of the game, hit the bar on a great strike. Played a pretty classic #8 role (they play a 4-3-3 with Zubimendi sitting but the other #8 in Brais Mendez is a more attacking player and so Merino drops into a double pivot more when the press was broken). His pass completion rate is really low (FBRef), but it's rare you get to 19 caps for Spain while not being capable of reliability on the ball.

Was mainly watching him and Zubimendi, and while you can see why Zubimendi would help us as a classic sitting #8 who seems fairly 2 footed and comfortable on the ball and he's 25 as opposed to Merino's 27, he might be a little small to join Mainoo in midfield and he didn't look to be quite the athlete Merino is.
 

croadyman

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I imagine Eriksen, Mejbri and VDB will all be moved on in the summer this leaving us Mainoo, Casemiro, McTominay and Fernandes and Mount with Gore also on the fringes so I think from that we’d need to bring two midfielders in.

The obvious one is Thuram with him at Nice and only a year left on his contract, he is a defensive box to box who’s full of stamina and a ball winner. I’d also go for Rabiot seeing as he’s on a free and has a good range of passing, great engine, good in the air, physically strong and coming into his prime years.

I’d love Joao Neves from Benfica and Kimmich from Bayern but you’re probably looking at £120 million for those two and we probably also need two centre backs, a winger and a striker so that’s 6 players coming in that would all need to be high quality or have massive potential.
I would say we will probably only sign one CM unless there is an opportunity to get Kimmich for reasonable price or maybe Rabiot on free
 

FrankWhite

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One quality the starter absolutely needs to have is height/ aerial dominance, due to Martinez being so short. Hence, I don't see Joao Neves being that player next to Kobbie. Onana and Rabiot (free) makes sense to me, though I have some reservations about them as well.
 

davbon

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I would love to see United pick up the following three midfielders:

Joao Neves: Unreal talent. I think he would compliment Mainoo really well even though he is not the tallest. He's a really good ballwinner, covers a lot of ground and can dribble and pass his way out of any danger. Could both play together and instead of Mainoo. Would take Amrabat's/Eriksens place in the squad.

Amadou Onana: He has already been described heavily on this forum. Probably one of the best partners for Mainoo long term. Would take Casemiros place in the squad.

Mikel Merino: Out of contract in 2025. An experienced and very complete midfielder. He is physically and technically suberb. He wins a lot of defensive duals in all thirds of the pitch. Plays mostly as an 8 with freedom to roam into the box for both finishes and headers, like McTominay, but he is also a very good passer and progressor from deep. Has potential to offer many of the clutch goals of McTominay has provided, but is an overall superb midfielder. Would take McTominay's place in the squad.

Assuming we play a 4231, this would leave us with the following diverse options for the two central midfield positions:
  1. Mainoo
  2. Joao Neves
  3. Onana
  4. Mikel Merino
Add to that Bruno and Mount and I think you have a very strong squad with a nice balance of ball resistance, progression, creativity and physicality.
 
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jesperjaap

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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, ...!!!
Its criminal whe you think of the number of decent central midfielders have come through the youth system over the last few seasons and the loans we have also made added to the last decade we have bought 8 or 9 cm and spent nearly 500m from a brief look how pitiful our midfield has been. 90% of them havent put in a run of more then 3/4months ofquality performances and none of them more than a season.

I agree we need to rebuild that midfield but with other areas also needing a lot to happen with, cant see more than three signings, just hope we do the right ones as all the signings we made, only one looked right to me at the time in Pogba that didnt work out, Herrera I thought was a reasonable one and he was ok but not a starter for me and then Casemeiro who was just too pricey for his age, fantastic for 8months but that doesnt justify the fee based on the 8/9months since...the likes of VDB, Fred, Shnederlin were never the right signings, we have bought so badly in midfield more than any other positions the last decade
 

BenitoSTARR

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I would love to see United pick up the following three midfielders:

Joao Neves: Unreal talent. I think he would compliment Mainoo really well even though he is not the tallest. He's a really good ballwinner, covers a lot of ground and can dribble and pass his way out of any danger. Could both play together and instead of Mainoo. Would take Amrabat's/Eriksens place in the squad.

Amadou Onana: He has already been described heavily on this forum. Probably one of the best partners for Mainoo long term. Would take Casemiros place in the squad.

Mikel Merino: Out of contract in 2025. An experienced and very complete midfielder. He is physically and technically suberb. He wins a lot of defensive duals in all thirds of the pitch. Plays mostly as an 8 with freedom to roam into the box for both finishes and headers, like McTominay, but he is also a very good passer and progressor from deep. Has potential to offer many of the clutch goals of McTominay has provided, but is an overall superb midfielder. Would take McTominay's place in the squad.

Assuming we play a 4231, this would leave us with the following diverse options for the two central midfield positions:
  1. Mainoo
  2. Joao Neves
  3. Onana
  4. Mikel Merino
Add to that Bruno and Mount and I think you have a very strong squad with a nice balance of ball resistance, progression, creativity and physicality.
@davbon good post.
 

Redivy

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I would love to see United pick up the following three midfielders:

Joao Neves: Unreal talent. I think he would compliment Mainoo really well even though he is not the tallest. He's a really good ballwinner, covers a lot of ground and can dribble and pass his way out of any danger. Could both play together and instead of Mainoo. Would take Amrabat's/Eriksens place in the squad.

Amadou Onana: He has already been described heavily on this forum. Probably one of the best partners for Mainoo long term. Would take Casemiros place in the squad.

Mikel Merino: Out of contract in 2025. An experienced and very complete midfielder. He is physically and technically suberb. He wins a lot of defensive duals in all thirds of the pitch. Plays mostly as an 8 with freedom to roam into the box for both finishes and headers, like McTominay, but he is also a very good passer and progressor from deep. Has potential to offer many of the clutch goals of McTominay has provided, but is an overall superb midfielder. Would take McTominay's place in the squad.

Assuming we play a 4231, this would leave us with the following diverse options for the two central midfield positions:
  1. Mainoo
  2. Joao Neves
  3. Onana
  4. Mikel Merino
Add to that Bruno and Mount and I think you have a very strong squad with a nice balance of ball resistance, progression, creativity and physicality.
I have been a big fan of Merino for a while, and I'd love to see us go for him. I actually think he would be a fantastic rotation choice with Mainoo as opposed to playing with him.

I also think tactically, Joao Neves would be much better in a flat three, as opposed to being a #6 (next to Mainoo). You'd play a system with two #8, and a #6, similar to Liverpool under Klopp, or Madrid under Ancelloti.
 

Woziak

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Isn’t Moreno 35/36 , the PL will find him out if he’s the spainish player I’m thinking of, much rather see a 30 year old Barkley as a third midfielder as he’s available on a free and he’s currently playing out of skin in PL he’s 6/8 hybrid and an 8/10 hybrid he’s just given an audition where he ran the midfield against us, love the other two options though but they will cost £100m together so we need to be smart for the third midfielder, Barkley 2 years younger than Eriksen and currently a huge upgrade as he super fit right now.
 

The Irish Connection

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Isn’t Moreno 35/36 , the PL will find him out if he’s the spainish player I’m thinking of, much rather see a 30 year old Barkley as a third midfielder as he’s available on a free and he’s currently playing out of skin in PL he’s 6/8 hybrid and an 8/10 hybrid he’s just given an audition where he ran the midfield against us, love the other two options though but they will cost £100m together so we need to be smart for the third midfielder, Barkley 2 years younger than Eriksen and currently a huge upgrade as he super fit right now.
I agree. Barkley has really impressed this season.
 

daba

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Isn’t Moreno 35/36 , the PL will find him out if he’s the spainish player I’m thinking of, much rather see a 30 year old Barkley as a third midfielder as he’s available on a free and he’s currently playing out of skin in PL he’s 6/8 hybrid and an 8/10 hybrid he’s just given an audition where he ran the midfield against us, love the other two options though but they will cost £100m together so we need to be smart for the third midfielder, Barkley 2 years younger than Eriksen and currently a huge upgrade as he super fit right now.
He’s 27
 

United888

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The manager wants to play high intensity pressing like how Klopp does. 32 years old Casemiro and Eriksen are no longer capable to play in the high intensity game. It shown this season. I believe we need minimum 2 midfielders to replace both of them and may be 3rd one to replace Amrabat.

I think fixing the midfield is more important to allow us playing this high intensity pressing than fixing the winger's issue. We can always play one of Bruno or Mount wide as temporary if required to allow us focus on investing the budget more on midfield this summer.
 

NoPace

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I agree. Barkley has really impressed this season.
Yeah, there are worse ideas than trying to paper over the midfield issues this way, if there's only money this summer for one midfielder (along with the needed striker, RCB, left-sided defender who can play LCB and LB).

#10 - Bruno (Mount)
#8 - Mainoo (Barkley)
#6 - New DM (Casemiro)
 

United888

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Yeah, there are worse ideas than trying to paper over the midfield issues this way, if there's only money this summer for one midfielder (along with the needed striker, RCB, left-sided defender who can play LCB and LB).

#10 - Bruno (Mount)
#8 - Mainoo (Barkley)
#6 - New DM (Casemiro)
Selling Casemiro is like having money for 2 midfielders because his wages is 350k pw. We need to move him on if there is decent offer. Based on the news, lot of clubs in Saudi want him. Hopefully we will see bid war among them.
 

Woziak

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Yeah, there are worse ideas than trying to paper over the midfield issues this way, if there's only money this summer for one midfielder (along with the needed striker, RCB, left-sided defender who can play LCB and LB).

#10 - Bruno (Mount)
#8 - Mainoo (Barkley)
#6 - New DM (Casemiro)
United fans shooting down a 30 year old Ross Barkley who will be on a free and 100k per week wages, he’s played 21 games this season and has 3 goals and 3 assists 6 Goal involvements in 21 games.

He won’t be 31 until December, looks fit and he’s getting better as he matures we give him a 2 year contract ok 50k per week plus goal and assists bonus which is 20k per week more than he’s currently on. Seriously this is such an obvious deal, the other two midfielders we sign can be 19-23 year olds.
 

aeh1991

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United fans shooting down a 30 year old Ross Barkley who will be on a free and 100k per week wages, he’s played 21 games this season and has 3 goals and 3 assists 6 Goal involvements in 21 games.

He won’t be 31 until December, looks fit and he’s getting better as he matures we give him a 2 year contract ok 50k per week plus goal and assists bonus which is 20k per week more than he’s currently on. Seriously this is such an obvious deal, the other two midfielders we sign can be 19-23 year olds.
If that means we can get rid of Mount and McTominay, I'm totally fine with getting Barkley. I'd rather see a young CM though in the mould of Alex Scott or Matt O'Riley.
 

Woziak

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If that means we can get rid of Mount and McTominay, I'm totally fine with getting Barkley. I'd rather see a young CM though in the mould of Alex Scott or Matt O'Riley.
Totally agree on Alex Scott, that boy will be a baller Mctominay fit Mount is not. The more I’m hearing though is that there is still no cash available and the club will maybe have £50-60m plus what we sell, Sir Jim wants the DOF and CEO to earn their rumoured £6-7m combined salary per year?
 

luke511

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United fans shooting down a 30 year old Ross Barkley who will be on a free and 100k per week wages, he’s played 21 games this season and has 3 goals and 3 assists 6 Goal involvements in 21 games.

He won’t be 31 until December, looks fit and he’s getting better as he matures we give him a 2 year contract ok 50k per week plus goal and assists bonus which is 20k per week more than he’s currently on. Seriously this is such an obvious deal, the other two midfielders we sign can be 19-23 year olds.
There’s no way we’re signing Barkley. He wasn’t a success at Nice and our owners will be well aware of that.
 

Valencia Shin Crosses

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Isn’t Moreno 35/36 , the PL will find him out if he’s the spainish player I’m thinking of, much rather see a 30 year old Barkley as a third midfielder as he’s available on a free and he’s currently playing out of skin in PL he’s 6/8 hybrid and an 8/10 hybrid he’s just given an audition where he ran the midfield against us, love the other two options though but they will cost £100m together so we need to be smart for the third midfielder, Barkley 2 years younger than Eriksen and currently a huge upgrade as he super fit right now.
No he’s talking about Merino, who is 27 currently.
 

Woziak

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No he’s talking about Merino, who is 27 currently.
Ok still prefer Ross Barkley and with the recent information that the club has £60-80m plus what we make in transfers, this coming from Ben Jacobs, could have been worded up by Ineos so we don’t get fleeced in the transfer market but he’s saying £140-170m with player sales.

Players with PL experience on low wages and no transfer fee all of a sudden become a key transfer for Man United this summer
 

Woziak

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There’s no way we’re signing Barkley. He wasn’t a success at Nice and our owners will be well aware of that.
There every chance we are signing him, limited budget, 1/3 wages of Eriksen and we could get a fee for Eriksen plus I know which one is more mobile currently read the news, watch Brailsford embrace him in the Luton Game, they like him the coach at Nice not so much but he got sacked ?
 

NoPace

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If that means we can get rid of Mount and McTominay, I'm totally fine with getting Barkley. I'd rather see a young CM though in the mould of Alex Scott or Matt O'Riley.
I think Scott would cost a million, but a 15-20M signing of a guy like O'Riley (only seen him play a few times in Old Firm games, looked technically good but a bit average physically but I'm sure there are Celtic fans around on here with much stronger views on him) makes a lot of sense to keep Mainoo from having to play every game.

On the other hand, the best case scenario is, like you say, buying a couple of quality of deep midfielders and having 3 guys for 2 spots (Mainoo, CM, DM). Easy enough to find a 4th deep midfielder on a free to cover for two years (loan or a free)) and hope Gore or another youngster can take over the spot in 2 years.

Bruno-Mount
Mainoo-CM1
DM1-Cheap backup who only plays when 2 of Mainoo, CM1 and DM1 are unavailable.

I don't think Mount will get moved yet, we have no backup for Bruno.
 

Valencia Shin Crosses

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Ok still prefer Ross Barkley and with the recent information that the club has £60-80m plus what we make in transfers, this coming from Ben Jacobs, could have been worded up by Ineos so we don’t get fleeced in the transfer market but he’s saying £140-170m with player sales.

Players with PL experience on low wages and no transfer fee all of a sudden become a key transfer for Man United this summer
Yeah that’s fine I think Barkley on a free essentially taking that Eriksen role would be good business.

The only thing you and I disagree on is what the priority of our transfer plans should be this summer.