Man United strong favourites to sign world-class striker, deal will cost £8.6m

Everything indicates that Mario Mandzukic’s next club will be Manchester United, according to reports from Italy.

Man United’s interest in the Croat dates back to the summer, with Mandzukic mentioned initially as part of a deal involving Paulo Dybala and then considered as a target in his own right, although no such move materialised.

Since then, however, United and Juventus have reached an agreement in principle over Mandzukic ahead of the January transfer window.

According to Calcio Mercato, there is very little standing in the way of the striker moving to Old Trafford.

Juventus want €10m (£8.6m) for the 33-year-old – a sum that United are said to be open to meeting in the next window.

And if they are not willing to pay that nominal fee, they ought to have their heads looked at carefully. Here is a player who gives United two things they desperately lack: maturity and goals.

Do the maths, Ed. This one really is a no-brainer.

Ornstein: Man Utd to sign key midfield target “within the next year”

Reliable journalist David Ornstein has been told by all parties involved that James Maddison could move to Manchester United “within the next year”.

The English midfielder has emerged on the radar of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following an impressive 18 months in the number eight role under Brendan Rodgers.

Pressure has mounted on United to add to its midfield following its failure to reinforce that area over the summer.

According to Ornstein in The Athletic, sources from United, Leicester and Maddison’s camp suggest that a move to Old Trafford is on the cards next summer.

You can picture it, can’t you? Having just pinched Harry Maguire from the same club, Maddison will feel that, with another year of Premier League football under his belt, that he is ready to make the big leap next summer.

Of course, there is still a chance that he could sign a new contract at the King Power, but doing so would be inimical to the interests of any player who wants to play at the highest level possible. Moving forward and moving upwards is something all footballers aim for, surely?

The Englishman is without a doubt a player whose quality is too good to pass up for a club desperately lacking invention in midfield.

The reason why Man United will not overspend in January: report

Manchester United want to spend money in the January transfer window but are not prepared to pay over the odds for players, according to a report.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has shown itself to be in desperate need of reinforcements after entering the international break two points above the relegation zone.

Indeed, following the summer transfer window, it is clear that United must invest in both midfield and attack over the January window.

According to sources at ESPN, United’s board are ready to back Solskjaer but have warned that they will not pay over the odds for players just because the club desperately needs them.

Reports have suggested that United are close to striking a deal worth £9m for Mario Mandzukic in January, with both parties confident of a deal happening.

That seems like a good idea, but when it comes to other signings, chances of deals happening are small.

Teams will always give United the hard sell, and with the club mid-season and manifestly struggling, the cost of any targets is set to be ramped up tenfold.

Man United set to sign superstar striker in January, deal will cost £9m: report

Manchester United will reportedly offer Juventus a fee of £9m to sign Mario Mandzukic in the January transfer window.

A deal for the striker, whose goal against England put Croatia into the World Cup final, was mentioned between the two clubs during negotiations for Paulo Dybala over the summer.

No such move materialised, however, due to the Mandzukic camp feeling rushed over the decision, along with Man United perhaps deciding to stay fully loyal to their policy of signing young British players who can develop over several years.

According to Goal Italia, United are confident that the £9m bid will be accepted, with the 33-year-old set to sign a deal which will see him earn £4.4m over one and a half years.

If Juventus are offering a player of such high pedigree to United in January for a cut price, turning him down would be an act of auto-defenestration from a club painfully struggling for goals.

Moreover, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is right to focus on developing a new generation, it must be remembered that United have often benefited from signing experienced strikers with commanding personalities: Dimitar Berbatov, Robin van Persie, Zlatan Ibrahimovic are all examples.

In a team lacking maturity and confidence, Mandzukic would be a timely addition.

Spain held as Josh King snatches a point for Norway in stoppage time

Josh King scored a stoppage-time penalty as Norway held leaders Spain to a 1-1 Euro 2020 Group F qualifying draw at Ullevaal Stadion.

Man United’s injury crisis deepens, crucial midfielder out of Liverpool clash: report

Paul Pogba will miss Manchester United’s clash with Liverpool due to a foot injury and may not return until November, according to a report.

The Frenchman picked up the injury during a 1-1 draw with Southampton prior to the September international break.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brought him back into the fold for games against Rochdale and Arsenal, only for Pogba to aggravate the injury again and rule him out of the international break.

And according to the Daily Mail, often the bearers of bad injury news like this, Pogba’s foot injury is set to keep him sidelined until the turn of the month.

Without Pogba, United are barely functional, which makes the idea of playing Liverpool – who have won 17 Premier League games in a row – a truly terrifying prospect, something which shakes you to your very core.

If United do pull off a victory over Liverpool, the win should go down as an immortal classic, if only because the odds are so deeply stacked up against them. No evidence out there – aside from the fact that it is technically 11 vs. 11 – points towards United having a chance.

Without Pogba, the chances of a mauling have significantly increased.