Juventus chief gives Man Utd big lift in chase for two top targets

Manchester United’s chances of landing two of their top January targets have been given a timely boost by Juventus director Fabio Paratici.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears to be pressing on with plans to strengthen his squad in the January window after reports he was facing the sack seemingly wide of the mark.

It’s reported that Solskjaer will be given funds to make up to four new signings in January – with the Norwegian having reportedly submitted a six-strong transfer wishlist to United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward ahead of the winter window.

And with a deal for Mario Mandzukic said to be verbally agreed between United and Juventus, their hopes of landing the veteran Croatian striker have received another boost after Paratici admitted they are willing to let him leave.

“With Mandzukic, we chose a quiet time for him [to leave] but a move to Qatar [in the summer] did not materialise so he stayed with us,” he said. “Now we’ll see what happens in January.”

And while Juventus appear actively ready to try and trim their squad in January – United have been linked with another unwanted star in the shape of Emre Can – it seems making further additions to their squad is not in their thinking.

Juventus had been linked with a move for Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic in January after the star admitted he was ready to move on after over five years at Barcelona.

However, when asked directly if Rakitic was a target, Paratici insisted he was not a name they’re considering.

“Our squad is complete and we consider it to be one of the best in Europe,” he added. “We’re happy with our players.”

 

 

And that, according to Tuttosport, leaves United as frontrunners for the player’s signature, with reports on Monday claiming United have already registered their interest with Barcelona and have opened initial negotiations over a deal to bring the Croatia star to Old Trafford in January.

As per the Catalonian-based paper, Barca have set an asking price of just €40m (£34m) for the 31-year-old schemer – a fee United appear happy to match.

It’s claimed Inter are also in the running to sign Rakitic, with their manager Antonio Conte drawing up a four-man midfielder shopping list.

However, all the signs point towards a United swoop for Rakitic, in a deal that could leave the Nerazzurri in the clear to snap up Nemanja Matic instead.