Now the attention of the world has turned from the transfer saga of the summer, with Paul Pogba finally a Manchester United player once more, to this weekend and the start of this season’s Premier League, transfer news and speculation can finally take something of a back seat to the actual football. Jose Mourinho’s first match of any great consequence is almost upon us, as he takes his United side to Bournemouth for a Sunday afternoon kick-off.
Of course, that won’t stop the rumour mill. Even after the £89m capture of Pogba for a world record fee, Soccerisma are still keen on driving United’s supposed pursuit of another Frenchman who starred for his country at this summer’s Euro 2016.
The collection of reports and rumours regarding Moussa Sissoko on their site isn’t entirely unfounded; in his own words, the Newcastle United midfielder is hankering for a move away from the North West:
“I want to play in the Premier League, I want to play for a big club who can get into the Champions League. That’s why I said I want to leave this year.”
“They need to understand, I spent three and a half years here. I gave everything for this club and I want to play some big games. For that I need to go somewhere else.
Sissoko goes even further than that in his comments in a piece by The Mirror: “I hope Real will come for me. I’m still waiting.”
Whilst the French international’s honesty makes for a refreshing change to the norm when compared to footballers who publicly insist that they are 100% committed to their current club, Sissoko may be kept waiting this summer, as it seems that neither Real Madrid or United are interested in signing him.
From United’s perspective, the club simply doesn’t need him. Pogba’s purchase mean that Mourinho has Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera, Morgan Schneiderlin and Marouane Fellaini at his disposal, and at present, the only speculation of a midfield exit is directed towards Bastian Schweinsteiger, who has been told he has no future at the club. Sissoko would bloat United’s midfield options at a time where Mourinho needs to sell, not buy, so it’s tough to see what the Frenchman could bring that the Portuguese doesn’t already have.
There’s every chance that Sissoko will leave the Championship before the summer transfer window closes; what’s less clear is where he’ll end up. But at this stage, given United’s summer business, it’s safe to suggest that it won’t be Old Trafford. If he’s looking for an exit, Arsenal could certainly use a player of his capabilities and the drive he showed whilst playing for Les Blues would certainly be welcome, but Arsene Wenger has to resolve his centre back crisis first.