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United and Arsenal to fight it out for Atlanta United forward Ezequiel Barco

Manchester United and Arsenal are interested in the signature of MLS wonderkid Ezequiel Barco. (h/t Daily Star)

The 21-year-old winger, who plays for Atalanta United, has impressed since his move to the MLS from Independiente in 2018. Barco has made 59 appearances for Atalanta and has scored 9 goals and 9 assists. (h/t Whoscored)

He won the 2017 Copa Sudamericana with Independiente and scored in the second leg of the final through a penalty as the Argententians prevailed 3-2 over Flamengo.

Both Manchester United and Arsenal need midfield reinforcements in the January transfer window and Barco would be a good signing for either club.

Ezequiel Barco

United boss Ole Gunnar Solksjaer needs additions in the midfield with Paul Pogba and Scott Mctominay out injured. United also sold both Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera in the summer and failed to replace them. Barco can score and assist and  be the creative spark that we need.

The 21-year-old has represented the Argentinian Under-20s, 9 times and has scored 2 goals. (h/t Whoscored)

Atlanta value Barco at around £19m, which would be a snip in today’s market.

With the likes of  Inter Milan, Sporting Lison and AS Roma also interested in the player, United must move quickly to secure him if we want to avoid a bidding war.

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With the player’s contract running till 2022, Atalanta hold the aces in any negotiations

Barco’s impressive form has seen him be selected for the MLS all-star teams in 2018 and 2019.

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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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Transfer blow for Man United as £13m difference could stop the deal for Portugese star

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Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes transfer to Manchester United at the risk of collapse

The transfer of Portuguese star Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon is at the risk of collapse with Sporting Lisbon holding out for £55million, according to Portuguese station TVI24 (h/t Metro).

The 25-year-old midfielder has informed the Portuguese club of his wish to move to Old Trafford and has already agreed on personal terms with United. Sporting are unhappy with United’s opening offer of £42m, which is £13m short of the Portuguese club’s expectation.

United’s offer contains a number of add-on clauses that can eventually take the deal to £60million. Sporting, however, deem the conditions improbable and are seeking a greater fee upfront.

Bruno Fernandes

Sporting are unwilling to drop their asking price as United have failed to include a player in exchange as a part of the deal.

The Portuguese side were willing to accept a lower fee had a player been included. However, neither Andreas Pereira or Marcos Rojo were willing to move to the Portuguese Primeira Liga.

Fernandes played in the 2-0 loss to arch-rivals Benfica in what could be the player’s last match for Sporting.

The Portuguese club have demanded a minimum of £55.3million as a guaranteed payment. They also expect United to include bonuses that are more achievable.

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Sporting will have to pay 50% of the sell-on fee to Fernandes’ previous club Sampdoria and will look to get as much as they can from United.

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