Five big-name stars that Manchester United should target once they get new owners: Mbappe, Bellingham…

Manchester United targets Jude Bellingham, Kylian Mbappe and Diogo Costa. TEAMtalk montage. Credit: Alamy
Manchester United targets Jude Bellingham, Kylian Mbappe and Diogo Costa. TEAMtalk montage. Credit: Alamy

The Glazer family are now looking to sell Manchester United and a change of ownership could help the club in the transfer market. 

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is a known United fan and is believed to be exploring a bid while multi-billionaire investors from Dubai and US-based consortiums have also been linked with the club.

United fans will be hoping that the next owners invest money into the club and help them challenge for Premier League and Champions League titles once again.

We’ve taken a look at five big-name players that United’s next owners should be targeting in the upcoming transfer windows.

Diogo Costa

United could look to sign a new goalkeeper next year amid continued doubts over David de Gea’s suitability to the side under Erik ten Hag.

De Gea, who joined United from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2011, remains an excellent shot-stopper but has been criticised for his distribution. 

The Spain international is out of contract at the end of 2022/23, although United have the option to extend his deal by one more season.

According to The Athletic, United are currently searching the market for goalkeepers who match the Ten Hag copybook and Porto’s Diogo Costa is on their list.

He has kept nine clean sheets in 19 appearances this season and also became the first goalkeeper on record to save three penalties in a single Champions League campaign.

But the 23-year-old recently signed a new long-term contract with the Portuguese side, which includes a €75m release clause.

While the Glazers may have looked at cheaper alternatives, United’s next owners might be prepared to activate the release clause.

Achraf Hakimi

While Diogo Dalot has enjoyed an impressive start to the 2022/23 season, United are still in the market for a new right-back.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka has made just one substitute appearance under Ten Hag and has reportedly been deemed surplus to requirements.

United have been linked with Norwich City’s Max Aarons and Bayer Leverkusen’s Jeremie Frimpong but a change of ownership could see them target one of the best right-backs in the world.

Hakimi came through Real Madrid’s academy and spent two years on loan at Borussia Dortmund before joining Inter Milan on a permanent deal in 2020.

After winning Serie A during his solitary season at Inter, the right-back then completed a £60m move to Paris Saint-Germain.

He’s renowned for his attacking contributions in the final third and has registered seven goals and nine assists for the Ligue 1 side. In comparison, Dalot and Wan-Bissaka have a combined total of two direct goal contributions since the start of 2021/22.

According to Football Insider, United worked on a deal to bring the 24-year-old to Old Trafford during the summer transfer window but it failed to materialise.

PSG would demand a fee in the region of £60m for Hakimi, making him far more expensive than Aarons and Frimpong. But the Morocco international would represent value for money if he gives this United side a new dimension going forward.

Neymar and Achraf Hakimi celebrating Credit: Alamy
Neymar and Achraf Hakimi celebrating Credit: Alamy

Antonio Silva

United are well-stocked in the centre-back department but it wouldn’t be a surprise if it’s refreshed in the near future. 

Raphael Varane has struggled with a series of injury problems while Harry Maguire has been told to leave if his situation at Old Trafford doesn’t change.

According to the Daily Mirror, United are keen to sign a young defender and have sent scouts to watch Benfica’s Antonio Silva. 

Silva is enjoying a brilliant breakthrough season and Benfica have not lost a single one of the 18 games that the centre-back has featured in. 

“I’ve seen some reports of Liverpool and Manchester United looking at him. For sure, top clubs are following him but it’s important to say that there’s still nothing serious or concrete, as of now,” Fabrizio Romano told Caught Offside.

The 19-year-old has an £87m release clause in his contract but it remains to be seen how close to the full value of that clause United would have to go to tempt Benfica into a sale.

Admittedly, it’d be a risk to spend a lot of money on a player with limited experience but if Silva’s start in senior football is anything to go by, he could well justify his price tag in the future. 

Jude Bellingham

United tried to sign Bellingham from Birmingham City in the summer of 2020 and pulled out all the stops, including Sir Alex Ferguson giving the youngster a personal tour of the training ground.

But the box-to-box midfielder snubbed their advances in favour of joining Borussia Dortmund in a deal worth around £25m.

He has gone from strength to strength during his time in Germany, establishing himself as the most sought-after young talent in world football. 

According to the Daily Mirror, Ten Hag and United Football Director John Murtough have held several meetings to identify summer transfer targets and have put Bellingham at the top of their list.

Admittedly, United will need to secure Champions League football if they are to have any chance of landing the 19-year-old.

They will also face plenty of competition for his signature as the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid have also been monitoring his progress.

According to reports, Dortmund will ask for a fee in the region of £130m to sell their prized asset. Sport claim that Madrid are not prepared to meet the valuation while the Times report that Liverpool’s American owners are reluctant to sanction a big raid.

Sky Deutschland reporter Florian Plettenberg had claimed that financial fair play factors could force United to drop out of the race but their next owners might be able to meet Dortmund’s asking price.

“We don’t have to pretend that the topic isn’t on the table,” Dortmund chief Hans-Joachim Watzke told Bild. “When the really big [teams] are there, we can’t afford to fight financially either.”

Kylian Mbappe

United have confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo has left the club by mutual consent following his explosive interview with Piers Morgan.

Ten Hag’s side now need a new striker and they have been linked with Benjamin Sesko, Dusan Vlahovic and Youssoufa Moukoko.

But if United’s owners want to challenge for the Premier League title, they need a transfer that would rival Erling Haaland’s switch to Manchester City.

According to the Daily Mirror, Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe has emerged as a potential target to replace Ronaldo at Old Trafford.

Despite only being 23 years old, he has already scored over 200 first-team goals and is widely regarded as one of the best players in the world.

The France international has won four Ligue 1 titles in Paris but reportedly wants to leave after his relationship with the club broke down.

United would have to break the Premier League transfer record to sign the forward, who is valued at around £150m and also earns over £500,000-a-week.

While it’s hard to imagine the Glazer family sanctioning a deal of that size, the next owners might have the financial might to get it over the line.

READ MORE: Five potential Cristiano Ronaldo replacements that Manchester United should be scouting at the World Cup

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