Save for reports that Manchester United are interested in sealing a deal for Southampton captain Jose Fonte, the club’s business seems to be all but done in the transfer market after last week’s capture of Paul Pogba. The Frenchman became the fourth singing that United have made this summer, rounding out the ‘spine’ that Mourinho referred to in June in his first press conference.
Still, that hasn’t stopped The Express going all in on news for United’s 5th signing, and, embellishing from a report in The Sun, they believe United have stolen a march in the race for the signature of a player that the vast majority of United fans will never have even seen play.
The player in question is Gabriel Barbosa, a striker for Santos currently on international duty for Brazil at the Rio Olympics, and the word is that United are closing to agreeing a fee of £26m, with a further £4m in add-ons:
“United, Chelsea, Leicester and Atletico Madrid have all expressed strong interest, but according to The Sun, United have won the race to his signature.
The report states the Red Devils have agreed to pay Santos £26m plus £4m commission to his agent and hope a deal will be pushed through within the next 48 hours.
Santos president Modesto Roma recently confirmed he had held talks with the Red Devils and the Blues.
He said: “We had productive conversations.
“We didn’t come to buy or sell players, neither in London or Madrid. We came to build up relationships.
“There weren’t offers, but we did talk about partnerships. I talked to Manchester United, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid.” “
Given the source is The Sun, who are prone to sensationalist reports and are frequently off target when it comes to transfer exclusives, it might be unwise to place too much stock in this report.
Not only that, but Jose Mourinho’s entire plan of attack up front for this season was to alternate between using Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rashford. Adding another forward into the mix would surely lessen the opportunities afforded to both, something neither would be impressed with.
Not only that, but United are well-stocked in attack, and at present, the focus for the rest of the transfer market is attempting to offload several unwanted players who are currently on particularly high wages, like Bastian Schweinsteiger and Marcos Rojo. With that in mind, this report is one to avoid.