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Zlatan Ibrahimovic exclusively speaks to ESPN FC about his Manchester United return.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic exclusively speaks to ESPN FC about his Manchester United return.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic exclusively speaks to ESPN FC about his Manchester United return.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic exclusively speaks to ESPN FC about his Manchester United return.

How have Manchester United got on in the summer transfer window? Here’s a look at the dealings in and out of Old Trafford and an update on what to expect in January.

Net spend (estimated)

£136.2 million

Completed signings 

Victor Lindelof (Benfica, £31m); Romelu Lukaku (Everton, £75m); Nemanja Matic (Chelsea, £40m), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (free). 

Potential signings 

Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Danny Rose (Tottenham), Serge Aurier (Paris Saint-Germain), Fabinho (Monaco).

Players missed out on

Griezmann due to Atletico’s transfer ban. Perisic due to Inter’s refusal to budge on £48.5m asking price.

Romelu Lukaku is Manchester United’s big money summer arrival and has hit the ground running.

Potential January targets

Mourinho has spent a significant amount of time talking about his need for four arrivals at United and could make a move in January if the right player comes up. Sealing such a massive deal for Griezmann in the winter window would seem unlikely, but he remains Mourinho’s big target so that’s one to watch. 

Luke Shaw’s future remains in doubt, with Mourinho looking for a reliable presence at left-back. United have tracked Celtic’s Kieran Tierney in the past but a move in the summer would be more likely. 

Players promoted to first team squad

Andreas Pereira, Axel Tuanzebe, Joel Pereira, Kieran O’Hara.

Completed sales

Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad, £9.8m), Wayne Rooney (Everton, free), Guillermo Varela (Penarol, undisclosed).

Potential sales 

Ashley Young, Chris Smalling.

Wayne Rooney’s move to Everton brought an end to 13 years at Manchester United.

Players who can’t be moved out

Nobody. Mourinho has often spoken about how happy he is with his squad and although Young’s role will continue to diminish, he is happy with being a backup to be called upon when needed. 

Players due for contract renewal

Shaw, Young, Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, Daley Blind, Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini all see their deals expire in 2018. Blind, Shaw and Young all have options to extend for a further year.

Areas of squad with shortcomings 

Width. United’s left side is particularly vulnerable with Shaw still struggling with injuries. Mourinho wants a quick, dynamic force on the left side to work in tandem with Marcus Rashford or Anthony Martial. Tottenham’s Rose is an option and ESPN FC sources say he is keen on a move to Old Trafford, but dealing with Tottenham has proven difficult in the past. 

While Antonio Valencia has enjoyed a renaissance at right-back, he needs competition there as he is still prone to predictability in attack. 

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho has said he would be content if he ended the window with three main arrivals.

Has this been a good window?

If we’re rating it out of 10, a 7 would be fair. Lukaku is a proven Premier League goal scorer and has settled in right away, while Matic is a trusted Mourinho ally and has looked superb since joining as well. His steady presence in the middle has liberated Paul Pogba, who continues to go from strength to strength.  

Lindelof has not enjoyed the best of starts — indeed, he’s awaiting his first minutes in the Premier League — and his shaky showing against Real Madrid in the Super Cup followed a suspect-looking preseason. It’s a bit too early to give a full analysis of him, though.

Ibrahimovic’s return is a boost but United won’t be seeing last season’s top scorer until the New Year as he recovers from knee surgery. The big frustration was not landing Griezmann or another attacker to complete Mourinho’s wish list. Yes, Zlatan’s return could be counted as a fourth “signing” but he was always likely to return as he says he has unfinished business. The idea was that he’d supplement four other arrivals. 

The fans are split on Perisic. While some point to Mourinho’s success in the market at United and the need for pace in attack, others believe Rashford and Martial can carry the workload there themselves. 

In terms of outgoings, Wayne Rooney’s exit was long overdue and any window where David De Gea continues to avoid Real Madrid has to be positive. 

Alex Shaw is General Editor at ESPN FC. He has written for national newspapers across the world for over 12 years. Twitter: @AlexShawESPN.



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