Manchester United chief Ed Woodward would prefer to sign a holding midfielder rather than Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish this summer, it has been claimed. The 24-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford having impressed in the Premier League this season. But it appears United have now switched focus.
It’s been widely reported that United want to sign Grealish from Aston Villa when the transfer window reopens at the end of the season.
But The Athletic say that the club appear to be switching focus to a holding midfielder instead.
United have seen Bruno Fernandes hit the ground running in the No 10 role ever since his January arrival, with the Portugal international signing from Sporting Lisbon in the New Year.
And it appears they no longer see Grealish as a priority, and are on the lookout for a different type of player instead.
United’s holding midfielders have done well this season – but question marks remain.
Nemanja Matic had discovered his mojo before the coronavirus brought football to a halt and has been rewarded with a one-year extension.
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But the Serbia international can still be guilty of inconsistency and, at 31, is approaching the twilight years of his career.
Fred has improved considerably over the past year but he, too, can sometimes struggle for momentum.
And Scott McTominay has found minutes harder to come by since his injury in January, although did score in the 2-0 win over Manchester City in March.
News of United turning their attentions to a holding midfielder could also suggest Paul Pogba will stay.
The France international wants to leave Old Trafford but suitors Real Madrid and Juventus may struggle to meet United’s huge asking price for the 27-year-old.
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They will not let him go unless they get at least the £89million they paid for the Frenchman back in the sumer of 2016.
Grealish has been tipped to move as a replacement for Pogba but he could now be forced to stay at United for another year instead.
One person who wants him to stay at the club is Fernandes, who recently hailed the World Cup winner and backed him to silence his critics when football starts up again.
“We can say in football that people normally forget what you do good when you have [made] a mistake,” Fernandes told the club’s official website.
“You can do good for 34 games, and one game you do bad and everyone will remember that.
“Paul is coming from a bad moment, because of the situation. When he played also, the club and the team was not good [and] because the expectations are high for Paul, because Paul is a top player and Manchester United pay a lot for him, expectations are a lot for him.
“It’s normal when you are in that situation you don’t play like a superstar, because everyone expects from Paul like they expect from Ronaldo at Juventus or Messi at Barcelona.
“Everyone expects this from Paul at Manchester United, because they know he has the qualities for this.
“Also we have a lot of confidence in Paul.
“Obviously Paul is injured for a long time, and we know is he has a lot of qualities.”
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