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Manchester United are close to signing Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant, according to Manchester Evening News.

The experienced shot-stopper has made over 500 professional appearances for the likes of Derby County, Sheffield Wednesday, Burnley and Stoke.

Manchester Evening News revealed a small story about Grant’s heroics against United while his son, True, was present at Old Trafford. In 2016, United hosted Stoke City where Grant put in a superlative performance between the sticks to help the Potters earn their first point at the Theatre of Dreams since 1980.

Grant had made his Premier League debut only eight days before the United game. And in his second league outing, the veteran shot-stopper made a series of world-class saves that left his son True in awe. Such was Grant’s performance at Old Trafford two years ago that even United manager Jose Mourinho couldn’t stop himself from paying a tribute.

“In the first minute their keeper made an unbelievable save and he kept doing that until the end of the game,” Mourinho said.

Now as things stand, Mourinho is set to complete a deal for Grant to provide cover for David De Gea and Sergio Romero. Grant, who has not played since November, will become United’s third signing of the summer following the acquisitions of Diogo Dalot and Fred. It is believed that his arrival will allow Mourinho to send Joel Pereira out on loan to gain experience.

Read more: Jose Mourinho is convinced he needs another striker and is keen to sign Serie A star

I feel Mourinho is doing the right thing by signing the experienced Grant as a back-up to De Gea and Romero. The veteran shot-stopper has aged like fine wine and he would be a useful addition to our club.

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Man Utd set to welcome on-loan star in the summer

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Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez to return to Manchester United in the summer

Alexis Sanchez will return to Old Trafford in the summer, according to Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer. (h/t BBC)

Signed from Arsenal in 2018, Sanchez has struggled to replicate his form. The Chilean has made 38 appearances for United, scoring three goals and six assists.

This accounts for a goal contribution of 0.23 per game for United. The figure pales significantly from the 0.72 per game he achieved at Arsenal.

Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez has struggled in his time at Old Trafford

The Chilean’s loan at Inter Milan hasn’t gone according to plan either, playing just 214 minutes due to injury.

The United manager stated the difficulties of signing players in the January transfer window and backed Sanchez to prove his critics wrong if given a second chance.

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United are still paying half of Sanchez’s salary while the player is on loan at Inter (h/t BBC).

The Chilean’s transfer has so far proven to be a disaster. However, if Solksjaer is to be believed, Sanchez could still have the last laugh.

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Man United face PL battle to sign 28-year-old Serie A star

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Matias Vecino

Everton to rival Man United for midfielder Matias Vecino

Manchester United face competition from Premier League rivals Everton for the signature of Inter Milan midfielder Matias Vecino, according to Gazella Dello Sport (h/t Mirror).

United are in the market for midfielders, with Paul Pogba and Scott Mctominay out injured. Inter have already rejected a loan offer from the Red Devils for the player.

According to Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Mirror), Everton have now made a move to sign the player. Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti is said to be a fan of the 28-year-old having managed against him during his time at Napoli.

Matias Vecino
Matias Vecino has fallen down the pecking order at Inter Milan

The midfielder has fallen down the pecking order at Inter with Antonio Conte preferring to use Nicolo Barella, Marcelo Brozovic and Borja Valero when fit. Stefano Sensi’s good form has also seen Vecino go out of favour.

Danish Superstar Christian Eriksen is set to join the Italian giants in the coming weeks. This could further limit Vecino’s chances and he would be better off moving elsewhere.

Vecino has two goals and two assists for Inter in 17 appearances this season. (h/t Whoscored)

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Conte, however, is reluctant to let the midfielder go in this window. Inter are currently three points behind defending champions Juventus as they try to win their first Scudetto in 10 years.

The Inter manager is keen to maintain a strong squad as the season nears its business end.

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Man United keen on signing 2 players on loan to replace Marcus Rashford

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Odion Ighalo

Manchester United keen to loan Odion Ighalo and Islam Slimani

Manchester United are keen on signing Odion Ighalo and Islam Slimani on loan to provide cover for the injured Marcus Rashford. (h/t Sky Sports)

Ighalo plays for Shanghai Shenhua in the Chinese Super League while Slimani is currently on loan at Monaco from Leicester City.

Both Ighalo and Slimani have the experience of playing in the Premier League, having done so on 55 and 39 occasions respectively.

Ismael Slimani Manchester United
Slimani has impressed at Monaco

Both players have done well for their current clubs so far. Ighalo has scored 10 goals in 19 appearances for Shanghai whereas Slimani has registered 7 goals and 7 assists in 14 appearances for Monaco.

Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa are also interested in Slimani (h/t Daily Star).

Ighalo has a better record out of the two in the Premier League. With the Chinese Super League likely to be indefinitely suspended due to the coronavirus epidemic gripping the nation, it remains to be seen if the player will be allowed to travel.

Low-key but effective?

The injury to Marcus Rashford has left United without a reliable striker upfront. United have played both Liverpool and Burnley since the striker’s injury and have failed to hit the net in both games.

Given the nature of the January transfer window, it makes sense for the club to pursue a loan deal for an established forward until the summer.

Ighalo and Slimani are in their 30s but both players are physically imposing and are capable of playing as a target man upfront.

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United are currently 5th in the table with 14 games left to go. We face Chelsea in the league in February, which will give us a chance to close the gap on a top-four spot.

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Man United keen on landing Ligue 1 star for a fee of about £43million

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Moussa Dembele

Manchester United prepare £43 million bid for Moussa Dembele 

Manchester United are interested in Lyon striker Moussa Dembele (h/t Mirror)

According to Foot Mercato (h/t Mirror), United have identified the French striker as a target to replace the injured Marcus Rashford.

The 23-year old has enjoyed a stellar season for Lyon and has scored 15 goals and 1 assist in 28 appearances. (h/t Whoscored)

Dembele is expected to cost in the region of £43 and is also drawing interest from Chelsea.

The Red Devils had failed to replace the outgoing Romelu Lukaku in the summer and were extremely reliant on the young Rashford for goals.

Rashford has scored 19 goals and 5 assists this season. He is the club’s top scorer and the second top assist maker. United have lacked a cutting edge in the Englishman’s absence and had been playing through injury of late.

Solksjaer was forced to bring on the striker against Wolves which unfortunately led to worsening the extent of his injury.

Moussa Dembele

United currently lack a clinical player upfront. The result against Liverpool could have been different had Martial taken the chances afforded to him.

Lack of a plan?

United should have gone for a striker immediately after the signing of Lukaku. Rashford has had to play through injury and now finds himself out for 3 months.

The injury could also affect the youngster’s chances of making the England squad for the Euros. Rashford has made 201 appearances for United by the age of 22 and needs to be handled better to prevent him from burning out.

Prodigious youngsters such as Robbie Fowler and Micheal Own never got to reach the levels expected of them as they were burnt out and beset by injuries.

Dembele is an excellent player who will be an asset to United. But considering the position the club is in, it can be considered to be a step back for the Frenchman if he joins them.

The fact that the clubs has been linked to the player only after Rashford’s injury and not in spite of it reeks of a lack of long term planning.

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Bruno Fernandes transfer to Manchester United at the risk of collapse
Manchester United are keen on signing Marcos Llorente

Dembele already has experience of playing in England for Fulham and Celtic. The 23-year old made 64 appearances for Fulham,with 2 of them coming in the English Premier League.

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