Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Paper Talk: Woodward’s Man Utd transfer policy facing major summer re-think after costly twist

Avram Glazer, Ed Woodward Man Utd 2016

Manchester United’s transfer policy is facing a re-think following changes at the top, while West Ham eye a double deal – both in all the latest Paper Talk.

MAN UTD TRANSFER POLICY IN SPOTLIGHT

Manchester United’s transfer policy will be under scrutiny from new club chiefs after it affected Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure at the club, according to a report.

Solskjaer initially arrived at Old Trafford as interim boss in December 2018 following the sacking of Jose Mourinho. But after a solid start, he earned the job permanently.

Despite enjoying an impressive 2020/21 campaign where United finished second in the Premier League and reached the Europa League final, Solskjaer’s tenure soon turned sour.

Indeed, he lost his job in November last year after a downturn in form. While results ultimately cost him his job, The Athletic claims that Solskjaer did not feel United’s transfer strategy helped him.

In fact, the Norwegian reportedly felt baffled that the Red Devils refused to scout players from European rivals such as Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona.

Instead, Ed Woodward – who recently left his post as executive vice-chairman at Old Trafford – favoured scouting younger, promising talents from so-called lesser clubs.

Paul Pogba wanted by PSG this summer

Paul Pogba wanted by PSG this summer

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is wanted by PSG this summer

However, new chief executive Richard Arnold has taken over from Woodward. What’s more, John Murtough has been installed as United’s director of football.

And The Athletic claims that the pair will re-think Woodward’s transfer strategy ahead of a pivotal summer transfer window for the club.

Woodward did eventually break his mould by agreeing to sign Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane last summer.

However, Man Utd now face another crucial window as they look to players such as West Ham and England midfielder Declan Rice.


Can Liverpool really win the quadruple under Jurgen Klopp this season?


PAPER TALK – DOUBLE WEST HAM MOVE

West Ham pair Jarrod Bowen and Declan Rice

West Ham are planning talks with star forward Jarrod Bowen over a bumper new contract, reports have claimed.

The 25-year-old has scored 12 goals and assisted 11 others in 35 appearances in all competitions this season. That record includes 18 direct goal contributions in the Premier League.

Indeed, his form this season has capped his incredible rise after his transfer from Hull City in January 2020.

Bowen has subsequently attracted the transfer attention of Liverpool. Although Luis Diaz’s January arrival has cast doubt over whether they would move for him now.

Nevertheless, the Evening Standard claims that West Ham are aware it will not only be Liverpool keen on his services. As such, they want to tie him to a new and improved contract.

Bowen still has three and a half years left on his current Hammers deal. The London club albeit realise his importance and want to tie him down.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail has claimed that West Ham are also in talks about offering midfielder Mark Noble an executive role at the club.

The 34-year-old is due to retire at the end of the season and has a close relationship with the Hammers’ hierarchy.

He also has vast experience in the game and West Ham want to utilise that by offering him a job in their football operations department.

PAPER TALK – CHELSEA FOCUSED ON CENTRE-BACK DEAL

Jules Kounde, Jonathan David November 2021

Chelsea are focused on trying to tie up a deal for Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde, a report has claimed.

The Blues are facing something of a shortage of central defenders as it stands. Indeed, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen’s contracts both expire at the end of the season.

Furthermore, talks with both players have so far proved fruitless.

Chelsea tried to act last summer by landing France international Kounde. However, Sevilla moved the goalposts of a deal late on in the transfer window.

Nevertheless, the Blues’ interest has remained and transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has claimed that Kounde is a firm target.