Manchester United will have been watching these five targets at Euro 2020, who have done themselves no favours if they want a move to Old Trafford.
United have reportedly had a €45million bid for Kounde rejected by Sevilla, who had played just 45 minutes of international football before his start against Portugal in the group stages. He didn’t have a great time of it.
To be fair, he was at right-back, a position he’s played in just four of his 154 senior appearances for Bordeaux and Sevilla. And the centre-back can therefore be excused for not bombing down the flank with any great purpose – it’s not his game. But the lack of attacking impetus was supposed to be a price to pay for defensive solidity and it didn’t turn out that way. It was his his needlessly raised, flailing arm which gifted Portugal the penalty to level the scores.
Dembele has 12 injury lay-offs in four seasons at Barcelona. It’s certainly part of the reason he’s failed to live up to the potential that persuaded the Catalans to part with £120million to sign him from Borussia Dortmund. And it looks as though a further problem will hamper a potential move away from the Nou Camp this summer.
Barcelona confirmed on Monday that the forward will miss four months having undergone knee surgery after limping off in France’s 1-1 draw with Hungary. United have now pulled out of a possible deal for Dembele, for whom they were reportedly willing to offer €50million (though that already seemed unlikely given their supposed proximity to finally securing a deal for Jadon Sancho).
Apparently there was a United scout watching Adrien Rabiot against Switzerland. Not quite sure how The Daily Star know that, whether they actually do or what said scout will have gleaned from that display.
It wasn’t really Rabiot’s fault, he’s not a full-back (there’s a theme here), and he looked mighty uncomfortable. But even in France’s opening two games of the tournament, when he played in midfield against Germany and Hungary, he was a noticeable weak link. To someone who admittedly hasn’t seen loads and loads of him, he appears to be a player lauded far above his actual talent.
This one is unfair. There was no footfall past his shop window.
Silva couldn’t have done much more for his club to earn a start for his national side. 29 goals and ten assists in 32 games for Eintracht Frankfurt last term led to 36 minutes from the bench in three appearances at Euro 2020. He’s perhaps the only Portuguese national looking forward to Cristiano Ronaldo hanging up his boots.
There have been various reports linking him with a move to Old Trafford, with one claiming the Bundesliga club have offered him to the Red Devils for just £30million. That sounds like a great deal, but unfortunately, we’re none the wiser.
Okay, so he’s not out of the tournament, but Emma Hayes certainly wouldn’t play him again. And who are we to question her?
The Villarreal centre-back is thought to be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s second choice after Raphael Varane, who is a Euro 2020 casualty but needs no window dressing. And we saw the best and worst of the 24-year-old in 20 mad minutes for Spain at the end of normal time against Croatia.
It was terrible defending from Croatia, who left Ferran Torres all alone as his namesake stood over a free-kick in his own half, but it was a perfect Pau pass into the Manchester City forward’s path. And he does look very comfortable with the ball at his feet, as well as being quick across the ground, contrary to unpopular belief…
Danny Murphy: “Pau Torres isn’t the quickest”
Pau Torres was clocked as the fastest CB in La Liga last season (34.9 km/h)
— Graham Ruthven (@grahamruthven) June 19, 2021
But what followed suggests he might struggle against the don’t-like-it-up-’em Premier League battlers. He was outmuscled and turned from a throw-in into the box for Croatia’s second and was left marking no-one as Mario Pasalic equalised.