That many Arsenal fans have spent the last 36 hours or so calling for their manager to be sacked after going fourth by drawing at Old Trafford rather sums up the Manchester United malaise. There is something inherently wrong at the club, who will react to their issues the only way they know how.
According to the Daily Star, they will continue to throw money into a black hole in search of the answer. They exclusively claim that Lyon striker Moussa Dembele and Sean Longstaff of Newcastle midfield fame will be targeted in a £90m double swoop.
Ed Woodward has apparently informed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that ‘he will have significant funds to spend’ in the winter, with the manager most keen to boost his attacking options. Dembele has been mentioned in that regard before, identified as their ‘No. 1 target’ after some extensive scouting.
United ‘believe he can be lured’ from Lyon for about £50m, with Jeremy Cross throwing in the interesting titbit of saying the club ‘tried to sign Alvaro Morata in the summer but dropped their interest following doubts about his motives’.
Alvaro Morata? Really?
Anyway, the Dembele move will be accompanied by ‘a fresh bid’ for Longstaff, with United of the belief that ‘the current crisis’ at Newcastle will see their £50m summer demands drop to around £40m by January.
ALLEG TO STAND ON
It will presumably be Solskjaer in charge of spending such sums. But The Guardian do throw an unemployed Italian spanner into the works.
Massimiliano Allegri has apparently ‘been learning English’ with an eye on taking ‘a new role in the Premier League,’ particularly ‘taking over from’ Solskjaer in the event United sack him.
Allegri watched the end of Tottenham as we know them from the stands in north London, has ‘been sounded out by several clubs’ in the top flight and ‘is believed to have identified United as a potential employer’.
United ‘have no intention’ of bringing Solskjaer’s reign to an early end. But Allegri ‘is expected to be on a two or three-man shortlist’ if they do. And he isn’t even bothered about whether they qualify for the Champions League. Sounds perfect.
Over to Mesut Ozil now, and while the Daily Mail corroborate recent claims that Arsenal want to loan their highest earner out in January, they add that the Gunners ‘fear they will be unable’ to offload him.
Arsenal will consider permanent or temporary offers for Ozil in the winter, ‘but there is a concern the playmaker is ready to sit tight’. He is happy in London, albeit ‘affected’ by ‘security fears’ after he and Sead Kolasinac were attacked by thugs in the summer.
Arsenal reckon getting rid, even on a loan where his wages are subsidised, will be ‘easier said than done’. But if they can, they will use the funds they save on a new contract for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and perhaps also Alexandre Lacazette.
AND THE REST
Barcelona are considering another bid for Chelsea’s 31-year-old Brazil forward Willian, who has yet to sign a new deal and will be available on a free transfer in the summer… Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, 20, has rejected a new £5.3m-a-year contract with AC Milan… Burnley’s English forward Jay Rodriguez, 30, is being linked with a surprise move to Inter Milan in January… Everton failed with a bid of more than 30m euros (£26.6m) to sign 20-year-old Portuguese forward Rafael Leao in the summer before he moved from Lille to AC Milan.