It’s not pushing the realms of possibility to suggest that Manchester United aren’t quite done in terms of bringing in players during this summer transfer window. Amongst the more realistic targets like Southampton’s Jose Fonte, there are the less likely rumours, like Santos’ Gabigol. The subject of this piece falls into the former category more than the latter.
The Daily Star reported last month that United are looking at Besiktas’ Oguzhan Ozyakup, with the former Arsenal youth product starting the domestic season in Turkey in fine form, scoring an exceptional solo goal against Alanyaspor in the opening fixture of the Turkish Super Lïg. The Turkey international was recently linked with a move back to Arsenal.
So, are United truly in for him? The most likely scenario at this stage is that they’re keeping tabs on the situation as opposed to being on the cusp of launching a bid to bring Özyakup. With the season started, Besiktas would surely be extremely reluctant to sell a prized asset with little time left to muster up a replacement.
The other option is that United could buy him this summer and loan him back to the Turkish side for a year, securing his future but allowing him to further his development in familiar surroundings. Champions League football will provide a stern test for Besiktas this term, and perhaps Jose Mourinho and United would be better served letting him stay in his homeland for a year.
It doesn’t necessarily point towards United being desperate to sign the player now. Quite frankly, United are now reasonably well-stocked in almost every position on the pitch, if not with quality then certainly with quantity, and Özyakup would potentially be jostling for a first team place with too many players of greater presence in Mourinho’s squad.
Whilst the Portuguese isn’t expected to hold onto the likes of Jesse Lingard or Memphis Depay just because the club might prefer him to, he’s spoken highly of the Dutchman recently, and Lingard may well have started against Bournemouth last weekend had he not sustained an injury in the Community Shield clash with Leicester City. As such, it would be strange to see Mourinho move for another promising young attacker from another European league, primarily because when you add Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford into the mix, United clearly have a plethora of talent of a similar ilk at their disposal as it stands.
However, the news that United are scouting him is particularly interesting, given his talent. One to keep an eye on, for sure.