Manchester United are in advanced negotiations to sign Victor Lindelof from Benfica, while the club are also looking at options like Jose Fonte and James Rodriguez to strengthen the squad. Now, the reports from Daily Record has mentioned that United are targeting Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, who has also been on the wish list of clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City over the last few weeks. Bakayoko came to prominence with some incredible performances against Spurs in the Champions League. It is expected that the 22-year-old will cost in the region of £21 million.
United have reasons to be in the market for a new midfielder, as Morgan Schneiderlin looks set to join Everton. The Frenchman has never really been amongst the first team reckoning under José Mourinho. Mourinho has suggested that the squad may be bloated already due to the presence of players like Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger. It is no secret that the Portuguese manager prefers to have 22 outfield players in his first-team squad, but there are now 25 outfield players. Memphis Depay, Schneiderlin, and Schweinsteiger are expected to be the departures.
Mourinho may make an exception for this season, as United are involved in four different competitions. The brilliant 4-0 win over Reading has placed to the club in the draw for the fourth round of the FA Cup. United are also involved in the EFL Cup, Premier League and the Europa League. The latter would be of huge importance and United will target a win that would see them directly qualify for the Champions League group stages next season. The Europa League will be very important considering that the domestic campaign is proving highly competitive.
A high squad strength will allow the manager to rotate his squad and keep them fresh over the rest of the campaign.
Bakayoko may be a short-term replacement for Schneiderlin, but there is a very good chance that he may be brought in as the long-term replacement for Michael Carrick. The return of the veteran has coincided with United rediscovering the form. They have now gone on a six-match winning run in the Premier League with Carrick dictating the terms from the centre of the park. However, the 35-year-old midfielder clearly cannot carry on playing for much longer and a replacement has to be made.
At just €25 million, Bakayoko may seem excellent value, but Monaco are expected to jack up the price considering the high demand for the player. A bidding war between Chelsea, Manchester City, and United would suit the French outfit rather well.
Chelsea are also in the market for a midfielder after having allowed John obi Mikel and Oscar to leave the club in January.