Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Real Problem for the Reds' Transfer Plans

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Real Problem for the Reds' Transfer Plans

Article excerpt

NOT for the first time, United's summer plans could be intrinsically linked to Real Madrid's.

From the Champions League winners' pursuit of David de Gea - to their attempts to make Europe's best even better - the eyes of Old Trafford will be fixed on the Bernabeu over the next few months.

Jose Mourinho's transfer plans have already been disrupted by Antoine Griezmann's decision to stay at Atletico Madrid for at least one more year.

And depending on the whims of Real president Florentino Perez, a pivotal summer could be altered significantly.

Should Real make a formal offer for De Gea, United will face a fight to keep their No.1. The club are confident they can persuade the 26-year-old to stay - largely because he has not agitated for a move. But a world record bid would be difficult to reject, considering De Gea's desire to return to his homeland the last time Real came calling in 2015.

Mourinho has already drawn up a contingency plan with Jan Oblak and Kasper Schmeichel earmarked as potential replacements.

Any move for Oblak could be problematic in much the same way as Griezmann, due to Atletico's transfer embargo.

But United's focus is on strengthening, rather than replacing key players who head for the exit.

The priority now is an orthodox No.9 and Real have two who could become available this summer.

Should the Spanish giants make Kylian Mbappe the most expensive player in history, it would almost certainly see one of Alvaro Morata and Karim Benzema make way.

Morata has long-been linked with United, with the Spanish striker's father doing nothing to quell speculation over the weekend.

Cadena Cope reporter Paco Gonzalez interviewed Alfonso Morata, saying: "I know for certain that Manchester United are the only club that want Morata, nobody else."

Morata replied: "How do you know that? "You are a great journalist, but I must stay silent and say nothing more."

Benzema, meanwhile, Tweeted a picture of himself with Sir Alex Ferguson following the Champions League final, describing the former United manager as 'the Boss. …

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