Man Utd transfer targets for summer 2023: Panic setting in at Old Trafford?

Manchester United exceeded expectations last season to finish third in the Premier League while landing their first piece of silverware since 2017 in the form of the Carabao Cup.

After an impressive maiden campaign at the helm, United’s Dutch boss Erik ten Hag now looks ahead to the new season where he will be looking to compete on all fronts.

So far this summer, United have spent big, but fans are still disappointed and are expecting more incomings, with the close of the summer window rapidly approaching.

With the Glazer family dragging their heels over a decision to sell the club, new owners are looking less likely by the day, which has left Ten Hag with a more complex summer window than he would have liked. 

New arrivals so far include Mason Mount, André Onana and Rasmus Højlund, all of which cost a combined total of over £150m.

Despite spending that much already, the squad is still lacking depth and recent injuries in key positions has forced the club to search the market for last-minute replacements. 

Are panic stations setting in at Old Trafford? Will they get enough players in before the 1 September deadline?

Let’s take a look at the latest transfer targets for the Red Devils as they look to beat the clock and improve their squad before the summer window slams shut.

Sofyan Amrabat

Man Utd transfer targets for summer 2023: Panic setting in at Old Trafford?
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Erik ten Hag believes Sofyan Amrabat is the player that can turn United’s decent midfield into a world-class one. The Moroccan had a phenomenal World Cup in Qatar where he quickly caught the eye of every top team in Europe. His unyielding character and seemingly endless energy are exactly what every modern manager is searching for in a defensive midfielder.

This link between Amrabat and United has been clear to see all summer long, with fans questioning why this deal has still not been completed, with the window set to close. However, it seems ten Hag finally has his man, with latest reports suggesting that a deal is close to be agreed with Fiorentina for the services of Amrabat.

A loan deal is the proposal on the cards, with United likely to include an obligation to buy the player next summer. This could be down to their FFP situation with a lot of money already spent in this window. 

The Moroccan general may not be the superstar name that United fans would expect, but the quality that he will bring to the Reds midfield cannot be understated. 

Marc Cucurella

Man Utd transfer targets for summer 2023: Panic setting in at Old Trafford?
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With the recent injury to Luke Shaw, and Tyrell Malacia still on the sidelines, Man United are now desperate to get a left-back replacement into the club before the deadline.

This is not a position the club would have planned for, but it seems they have quickly sourced their main target in Spaniard Marc Cucurella. The 25-year-old only joined Chelsea last summer, but finds himself out of the first-team picture under new boss Mauricio Pochettino. 

Cucurella joined the Blues for a fee of over £50m and was soon followed by his old Brighton boss Graham Potter. Things went wrong pretty quickly for Potter, with Cucurella’s Chelsea career also never really getting going. 

United have reportedly offered Chelsea a hefty loan fee to get the left back into Old Trafford for the remainder of this season. It is a deal that makes sense for both parties, with Chelsea already having Ben Chilwell and Ian Maatsen as preferred left back options. 

Cucurella would also be getting a fresh start, where he can hopefully show the form and qualities from his time on the South Coast. A technically gifted player with versatility to play anywhere on the left, he may well be the best option available. 

Nicolás Tagliafico 

Man Utd transfer targets for summer 2023: Panic setting in at Old Trafford?
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Another left back that has also been on the recent radar for United is Nicolás Tagliafico of Lyon. The Argentine international was part of the World Cup-winning side back in December, and at 31 years old, has bags of experience at the top level.

This is certainly a short-term issue for United, so it is clear that someone like Tagliafico was not in the original transfer plans for the club. However, at short notice, this could be a really solid signing and one that may be less complex than a deal for Cucurella. 

A loan deal again would be the best option, but the willingness of Lyon to let their player go is under question. The club have made it very clear from their activity that a left back is imperative before the window closes, and if a deal for Cucurella fizzles out, Tagliafico would be a more than capable second option. 

João Neves

Man Utd transfer targets for summer 2023: Panic setting in at Old Trafford?
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Papers and news outlets across the globe are all using the same description when it comes to this next target for the Red Devils. “The next Bruno Fernandes”, or known by his real name of João Neves, is a teenage sensation currently playing at Benfica. The comparisons to his Portuguese compatriot might seem pretty lazy, but the 18-year-old really does have a similar profile to the current United captain, with maybe even more potential. 

It would not be the first time a teenager from Portugal has moved to Old Trafford, with the success of Cristiano Ronaldo potentially being a key influence for both parties. 

With the current issues Ten Hag is facing with his squad, signing a young attacking player who is seen as one for the future may not be high on the list of priorities. However, a player like this does not come around very often and it seems that club officials agree, with reports suggesting contact has been made by the United officials. 

Amongst the chaos of United trying to cover their injury-stricken squad, this deal could end up running out of steam, but if it was to go through, United fans should be very excited about the potential of this maestro.  

Jean-Clair Todibo

Man Utd transfer targets for summer 2023: Panic setting in at Old Trafford?
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The 23-year-old Todibo is another interesting name that is rumored to be on the coach's shortlist. Jean-Clair Todibo’s skills are unquestionable. Sure, he didn’t exactly impress with the Barcelona jersey, but the Catalan giants never gave him a fair chance. During his two-year spell at Nou Camp, Todibo made only four appearances for Blaugrana. A youngster needs more attention and opportunity so that he can truly shine, and that is something that Erik ten Hag is ready to give him.

Ever since he joined Nice back in 2021, he made 70 official appearances, in which he managed to score one goal. He’s a crucial part of how Les Aiglons play and he’ll surely have a key role to play at Old Trafford should this deal become reality. Reports have it that United are eager to add a new central defender, especially with the hole left due the recent injury to Raphaël Varane. A hole that Jean-Clair Todibo would be perfect to fill.

The latest reports are stating that regular contact between the two clubs is ongoing, with the Manchester club pushing for a deal to be done before the deadline shuts. Time is seriously running out, and it seems United may now have to overspend as they become more desperate to deepen their depleting squad. 

Transfer windows are never dull for Man United fans, with this summer being no different. With the clock running down very fast to the deadline, the Red Devils find themselves in an all too familiar position. Whether it be one player or multiple, fans are desperate for some additions if they are to have any hope of challenging on all fronts this season.