Manchester United set for £249m triple transfer raid of top European clubs, apparently

Steven Chicken
A poster of Sir Jim Ratcliffe holding poorly-photoshopped money bags
Manchester United fans are hopeful of big investment from new part-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Manchester United are targeting three very expensive players to try and turn around their ailing decade, according to reports coming out of Spain.

The very route-one titled outlet Fichajes (or ‘signings’) write that Manchester United have three names at the top of their transfer wishlist, which would not only improve their squad but ‘represent a coup of authority’, which sounds a bit sinister if you ask us.

Manchester United transfer rumour mill in overdrive after Sir Jim Ratcliffe investment

The three players in question? Well, we’re glad you asked, but we were going to tell you anyway so just shut your big bazoo for a bit, yeah?

Newly-crowned Serie A title winner Alessandro Bastoni is the first on the list. The 25-year-old Italy international has been a key part of an impressive Inter defence this season, with his performances at centre-back helping Simone Inzaghi’s side keep more clean sheets (19) than they have conceded goals (18) in the league this season.

A £69m price tag (nice) has reportedly been slapped firmly on Bastoni’s behind if United want to take him away from San Siro, where he has plied his trade since he was a teenager.

Read more: One Man Utd player epitomises recruitment described as ‘epic fail’

The next is Frenkie de Jong, who has been linked with a move to Old Trafford for so long that it’s actually referenced in the Canterbury Tales, but who has resolutely remained at Barcelona since 2019.

Reports last month suggested United were willing to go up to £77m for De Jong’s services, while new reports over the weekend suggested they had gone as high as £77.6m.

By our reckoning, that means they are raising their bid by £16.02 every minute, with the tuppence presumably being compensation for how much ink and paper the Barcelona fax machine is getting through as a result.

That’s interesting because Fichajes claim De Jong’s asking price is a mere £60m. What are we, just making this stuff as we go along? Surely not.

Jamal Musiala rounds out Manchester United transfer wishlist trio

Finally, it is of course England youth international Jamal Musiala, amid reports of rival interest from Manchester City, Liverpool and Real Madrid.

The eye-watering sum of £103m has been bandied around for the Bayern Munich winger, 21, who has claimed ten goals and six assists in the Bundesliga this season.

That adds up to £249 in total, which is officially a lot of money even for new investor Sir Jim Ratcliffe.