Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has named the three central midfielders he believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should pursue this summer, having also identified two central defensive targets for the Red Devils.
Despite the global economic crisis biting footbal hard, United continue to be linked with some of the world’s biggest stars, though Solskjaer has reportedly been forced to reign in his nine-man shoppping list.
A deal for Jadon Sancho is thought to be close to being announced, despite claims Borussia Dortmund are ready to play an ace card in a bid to keep the winger.
And Solskjaer is also thought to have placed Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish high on his list of priorities, although a report claims he will be asked to play in an unexpected position if he does complete a move,
And with the morning papers suggesting United could be in the market for Declan Rice, Ferdinand has insisted it is three other central midfielders the club should be targeting.
“I’d maybe go get [Thomas] Partey from Atletico Madrid or [Wilfred] Ndidi from Leicester,” Ferdinand told The Beautiful Game podcast of the players he would aim to sign if it were his decision – which it almost was.
“I like Saul Niguez. He’s a very, very good player in midfield.
“And then a centre-back, they still need a centre-back.
“Whether you go for a young one like a Ben Godfrey or someone like [Kalidou] Koulibaly. I don’t know, it’s difficult.”
After mentioning Partey, Ferdinand’s ears may have pricked up after hearing this claim made by a prominent African journalist about the Ghanaian midfielder, while Atletico teammate Saul is already on United’s radar for £70m.
It is not known what Leicester would value Ndidi at but the 23-year-old did have a few things to say about apparent interest from United when questioned about it on Monday.
“I still have a contract at Leicester,” said Ndidi, who is committed to the Foxes until 2024.
“I am learning and trying to improve myself every day and I’m doing okay here so no need to go anywhere.
“We are doing well and I’m enjoying myself here.”
Norwich defender Godfrey was rated at quite the price when Tottenham were linked in February, with surprise Newcastle target Koulibaly is thought to be available for around £70m, although Man Utd already appear to withdrawn from that race.
In total, the quintet would cost around £300m!