With this summer’s transfer market shaping up to be one of the busiest yet, deals aplenty will be done off the back of other moves being made as clubs look to replace the players they’ve lost; creating a large merry-go-round. In terms of Manchester United, one superior deal they could potentially complete may have just become a little easier…
At 22 years of age, Lyon’s athletic, talented midfield star Tanguy Ndmobele rose to prominence last season with brilliant displays in both the Champions League and Ligue 1. It has been rumoured that both Manchester United and Manchester City have him high on their list of targets, along with Juventus and Real Madrid. The path for United, though, to capture the French International has become somewhat clearer these past few days.
It appears that Manchester City have targeted Atletico Madrid’s Rodri as their number one priority this summer – and that they will only bring in one midfield player to bolster their side as Ilkay Gundogan will be staying for another season at least. In terms of the other possible realistic destinations for Ndombele, Juventus have since parted company with manager Massimiliano Allegri and at this moment in time, are searching for a replacement – although it seems Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri will take over the reins in Turin.
In terms of Real Madrid, they have also been watching Ndombele closely. However, the deal to bring Eden Hazard to the Bernabeu now seems like costing them more than originally anticipated, owing to Chelsea’s transfer ban not allowing them to bring in an adequate replacement. The Spanish giants are also keeping a close eye Paul Pogba’s situation at United, but with the Frenchman unlikely to leave Old Trafford this Summer, a move for Christian Eriksen could be where Real decide to shift their attention for the central-midfield role – leaving United as clear favourites to sign Ndombele.
It would be an astute move if United did bring in Ndombele. It is clear to see that many of the problems at Old Trafford lie in the defence, but the midfield also needs upgrading. With Ander Herrera leaving on a free transfer, and Juan Mata likely to join him, it leaves Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay, Fred and Andreas Pereira as the only viable choices. With Matic slowing down and seemingly regressing last season, major midfield surgery is needed.
The energy, strength and technical ability that Ndombele would bring to the club would be invaluable, and at 22 years of age, he could well become a staple of the United side for years to come. Last season the Lyon star made 34 appearances in Ligue 1, creating 7 assists and scoring once. He also made 8 Champions League appearances – netting twice. It’s his impact on those around him which make the Frenchman stand out above anything else, as he also allows his teammates the freedom to dictate the game. This could well be a positive for Pogba, who knows all about him Ndombele from their time with Les Bleus.
In my opinion, a bid of £60million could well be enough to tempt Lyon to sell their rising star. In the current market that would represent an excellent deal for all involved. The lines of communication are open between Manchester and Lyon as both Memphis Depay and Rafael have moved to France in recent seasons. It could even be possible that a current United player is included in any potential deal.
In purchasing Ndombele and playing him in a midfield three along with Pogba and potentially Declan Rice, who I personally believe would be an excellent signing to replace the ailing Matic, the Old Trafford engine room would potentially have all of the qualities that were lacking last season. With other clubs attention seemingly focused elsewhere, the time may be now to get a deal completed for one of the most promising talents in European football.