Man Utd transfer news: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Kalidou Koulibaly, Ivan Rakitic
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will look to bolster United back four this summer
Manchester United are set to rival Arsenal and Manchester City for the signing of Crystal Palace right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, according to reports.
TalkSPORT claims that the 21-year-old is one of three summer targets identified by the Red Devils, along with Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly and Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic.
The broadcaster says United will look to “buy those three players before the start of next season”, as part of a campaign to end the Premier League dominance of rivals Man City and Liverpool.
Arsenal were linked with a move for Wan-Bissaka earlier in the week, but with the Gunners strapped for cash, United are tipped to swoop with an offer that matches Palace’s £40m asking price. Man City were also linked with the Palace star last month.
TalkSPORT says that caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - described by ESPN as the “only serious candidate” for the full-time manager’s job - doesn’t believe Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Diogo Dalot are what he needs going forward, hence the move for Wan-Bissaka.
Back for Koulibaly
That also explains why the Norwegian is stalking Senegal international Koulibaly, continuing from where Jose Mourinho left off.
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis said that United made a £95m bid for the 27-year-old last year - and while that bid was unsuccessful, there should be another one this summer as Solskjaer looks to bolster his back-four.
As for Barcelona playmaker Rakitic, talkSPORT reports that the Catalan club “are considering selling the 30-year-old midfielder to help balance their books”, and that United’s stiffest competition is likely to come from Inter Milan.
Meanwhile, Manchester Evening News (MEN) has further information on Antonio Valencia, reporting that United “must decide within the next month” whether to trigger the veteran’s contract extension.
There is the option of an additional year on his current deal, but with Valencia sidelined with injury since 2 January, Solskjaer must decide whether to trigger the clause or tell the 33-year-old that his services are no longer required.
Given the club’s interest in Wan-Bissaka and Koulibaly, the smart money suggests it will be the latter. If United do allow Valencia to leave on a free transfer, he will be the first player whose plus one option has not been activated since it was introduced in 2013.
Premier League fixtures
Saturday 2 March (3pm unless stated)
- Tottenham Hotspur vs. Arsenal (12.30pm, live on BT Sport)
- AFC Bournemouth vs. Manchester City
- Brighton and Hove Albion vs. Huddersfield Town
- Burnley vs. Crystal Palace
- Manchester United vs. Southampton
- Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Cardiff City
- West Ham United vs. Newcastle United (5.30pm, live on Sky Sports)
Sunday 3 March
- Watford vs. Leicester City (12pm, live on Sky Sports)
- Fulham vs. Chelsea (2.05pm, live on Sky Sports)
- Everton vs. Liverpool (4.15pm, live on Sky Sports)