Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Five big-name stars that Manchester United should target if they get Qatari investors: Mbappe, Bellingham…

Manchester United targets Jude Bellingham, Kylian Mbappe and Diogo Costa. TEAMtalk montage.

The Glazer family are trying to sell Manchester United and a change of ownership could help the club in the transfer market. 

According to the Daily Mail, a group of Qatari investors will make a bid for United in the coming days and they believe they will blow the competition out of the water.

The report adds that they want to give Erik ten Hag the financial backing to help United challenge for Premier League and Champions League titles once again.

We’ve taken a look at five big-name players that United’s next owners should be targeting in the upcoming transfer windows.

Diogo Costa

United could look to sign a new goalkeeper this year amid continued doubts over David de Gea’s suitability to the side under Erik ten Hag.

De Gea, who joined United from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2011, remains an excellent shot-stopper but has been criticised for his distribution.

The Spain international is out of contract at the end of 2022/23, although United are reportedly looking to offer him a new deal on reduced wages.

According to The Athletic, United are currently searching the market for goalkeepers who match the Ten Hag copybook and Porto’s Diogo Costa is on their list.

He has kept 13 clean sheets in 25 appearances this season and also became the first goalkeeper on record to save three penalties in a single Champions League campaign.

But the 23-year-old signed a new long-term contract with the Portuguese side in November 2022 and it includes a €75m release clause.

While the Glazers may have looked at cheaper alternatives, the Qatari investors would probably be prepared to activate the release clause.

Achraf Hakimi

Diogo Dalot has enjoyed an impressive start to the 2022/23 season but United are still in the market for a new right-back.

While Aaron Wan-Bissaka has had an extended run in the side in recent weeks, he isn’t an attack-minded full-back and Ten Hag is reportedly willing to offload him in the summer.

United have been linked with Southampton’s Kyle Walker-Peters and Bayer Leverkusen’s Jeremie Frimpong but a change of ownership could see them target one of the best right-backs in the world.

Hakimi came through Real Madrid’s academy and spent two years on loan at Borussia Dortmund before joining Inter Milan on a permanent deal in 2020.

After winning Serie A during his solitary season at Inter, the right-back then completed a £60m move to Paris Saint-Germain.

He’s renowned for his attacking contributions in the final third and has registered eight goals and 11 assists for the Ligue 1 side. In comparison, Dalot and Wan-Bissaka have a combined total of four direct goal contributions since the start of 2021/22.

According to Football Insider, United worked on a deal to bring the 24-year-old to Old Trafford during the summer transfer window but it failed to materialise.

PSG would demand a fee in the region of £60m for Hakimi, making him far more expensive than Walker-Peters and Frimpong. But the Morocco international would represent value for money if he gives this United side a new dimension going forward.

Neymar and Achraf Hakimi celebrating

Antonio Silva

United are well-stocked in the centre-back department but it wouldn’t be a surprise if it’s refreshed in the near future.

Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof have both been linked with moves away from Old Trafford after falling down the pecking order under Ten Hag.

According to the Daily Mirror, United are keen to sign a young defender in 2023 and have sent scouts to watch Benfica’s Antonio Silva.

Silva is enjoying a brilliant breakthrough season and Benfica have kept 11 clean sheets during the 17 Primeira Liga games that the centre-back has featured in.

“The first goal is from that young defender I have highlighted a couple of weeks ago, I told you all about him, and there he is, Antonio Silva,” Jamie Carragher said after Silva scored in a 4-3 win over Juventus in the Champions League.

“I mentioned his defensive prowess. But goalscoring there as well. He is going to be a superstar.”

The 19-year-old has an £87m release clause in his contract but it remains to be seen how close to the full value of that clause United would have to go to tempt Benfica into a sale.

Admittedly, it’d be a risk to spend a lot of money on a player with limited experience but if Silva’s start in senior football is anything to go by, he could well justify his price tag in the future.

Jude Bellingham

United tried to sign Bellingham from Birmingham City in the summer of 2020 and pulled out all the stops, including Sir Alex Ferguson giving the youngster a personal tour of the training ground.

But the box-to-box midfielder snubbed their advances in favour of joining Borussia Dortmund in a deal worth around £25m.

He has gone from strength to strength during his time in Germany, establishing himself as the most sought-after young talent in world football.

According to the Manchester Evening News, Ten Hag is a major admirer of Bellingham and would pick the England international over any other transfer target.

Admittedly, United will face plenty of competition for his signature as the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, PSG and Real Madrid have also been monitoring his progress.

Dortmund will reportedly ask for a fee in the region of £130m to sell their prized asset. Sport claim that Madrid are not prepared to meet the valuation while the Times report that Liverpool’s >American owners are reluctant to sanction a big raid.

Sky Deutschland reporter Florian Plettenberg had claimed that financial fair play factors could force United to drop out of the race but the Qatari investors would be able to meet Dortmund’s asking price.

“We don’t have to pretend that the topic isn’t on the table,” Dortmund chief Hans-Joachim Watzke told Bild. “When the really big [teams] are there, we can’t afford to fight financially either.”

Kylian Mbappe

Since Cristiano Ronaldo left the club by mutual consent in November 2022, United have been on the lookout for a new striker.

They signed Wout Weghorst on loan until the end of the season and have since been linked with summer moves for Benjamin Sesko, Dusan Vlahovic, Victor Osimhen and Goncalo Ramos.

But if United’s next owners want to challenge for the Premier League title, they need a transfer that would rival Erling Haaland’s switch to Manchester City.

According to the Daily Mirror, Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe has emerged as a potential target and Sport claim United have already expressed their desire to sign him.

Despite only being 24 years old, he has already scored over 250 first-team goals and is widely regarded as one of the best players in the world.

The France international has won four Ligue 1 titles in Paris but is reportedly determined to leave PSG at the end of the season after his relationship with the club broke down.

United would have to break the Premier League transfer record to sign the forward, who is valued at around £150m and also earns over £500,000-a-week.

While it’s hard to imagine the Glazer family sanctioning a deal of that size, the Qatari investors would have the financial might to get it over the line.

READ MORE: The 20 strikers Manchester United have been linked with since Cristiano Ronaldo made exit