Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd mulling surprise signing that puts Arsenal plan at risk, as U-turn tees up opinion-splitting arrival

Barcelona forward Memphis Depay

Man Utd are ‘thinking’ about re-signing a LaLiga forward who Arsenal are preparing a lowball offer for, though his arrival would be a divisive one, per reports.

Erik ten Hag recently confirmed Manchester United will push to sign a new forward in January. Cristiano Ronaldo’s premature exit has left the club light up top and in turn, accelerated their plans to add more firepower.

Cody Gakpo is the club’s primary target, though following his exploits in Qatar, won’t come cheap.

The PSV Eindhoven and Netherlands ace, 23, is understood to be now be valued at €75m (approx. £65m).

Whether United will sanction a deal of that size in the lesser-fancied January window remains to be seen. There’s also no guarantee PSV will part ways with their prized asset mid-season.

Other targets include Benfica’s Goncalo Ramos and Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix. Fabrizio Romano recently confirmed Felix wants out of Atletico as soon as possible. United, Arsenal and Aston Villa from England have all been linked.

The Gunners have their own problems in the final third following Gabriel Jesus’ knee surgery. The Brazilian successfully underwent a procedure to repair an issue with the medial ligament in his right knee and could miss two-three months of action.

Jesus has been a revelation at the Emirates since his £45m arrival from Man City. He’s helped fire Arsenal to the top of the table and an extended lay-off could prompt action in January to ensure their title charge isn’t derailed.

Arsenal line up Memphis Depay

Spanish outlet Sport claimed earlier this weekend that Arsenal were sizing up Barcelona’s Memphis Depay. The Dutchman, 28, is poised to enter the final six months of his deal and is on the fringes in Catalonia.

Gunners chief Edu is reportedly preparing a modest offer he hopes will tempt Barca. Arsenal’s interest was backed up by TuttoJuve, and a Depay deal can reportedly be made for as little as £7m.

Barcelona had reportedly been willing to shift Depay for free last summer. However, amid concerns over registering new players in January, they’ve performed a U-turn and will now demand a fee, albeit a small one.

But according to the latest from Sport, Man Utd are a threat to scupper Arsenal’s plan.

Via Man Utd News, it’s noted the Red Devils are ‘thinking’ about bringing Depay back to Old Trafford next month.

Will Man Utd really sign a short-term fix?

Depay can operate at centre-forward if required, though whether he’s of the standard United desire is open to debate.

He has always been clinical for his national side and impressed with Lyon between 2017-21. However, he’s way down the pecking order at the Camp Nou and a move for a younger and more explosive star like Felix or Gakpo would make more sense.

The drawback there is obviously the cost of signing either of those two players. Neither will come cheap, unlike Depay who’d represent a cheap and cheerful pick-up.

Another downside of signing Depay comes in the form of his salary. The article states his current weekly wage is around the £200,000 mark. It stands to reason suitors would have to at least offer close to that and given Depay is still only 28, is likely to want a minimum of a two-and-a-half year deal.

The report suggests United aren’t looking for stop-gap replacements for Ronaldo. In other words, they want whoever they sign to be viable for the long haul.

That echoes Ten Hag’s latest comments when the Dutchman stressed United will only sign the “right player”, not just any player.

Arsenal’s situation better lends itself to a short-term solution, and for their sake at least, they’ll be hoping Man Utd ultimately decide Depay isn’t the answer.

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