Man Utd have been linked with a shock move for Liverpool target Naby Keita and he could prove a great signing if the club can pull it off. The Red Devils have already spent north of £100 million to secure the services of Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelof, bolstering an already strong squad, but they show no signs they are ready to stop spending just yet. They have been linked with all and sundry, from Neymar to Nemanja Matic, and they are hell-bent on improving for a title tilt next season so they will surely bring in a few more players. If the interest in Keita is genuine it could be great news for Utd as he has the potential to revolutionise their midfield.
At times last season Man Utd looked sluggish in the centre of the park. Ander Herrera impressed, with lots of neat and tidy passing, and Paul Pogba started to find his feet towards the end of the campaign, but they needed a bit more brute force in the middle of the park. Keita could provide that. He has frequently been likened to N’Golo Kante for his all-action, high-energy style and could bring similar drive and muscularity to Utd’s midfield.
Kante led Leicester and then Chelsea to consecutive Premiership titles and won all three Player of the Year titles last season, so his is clearly an important role. Utd looked better when Mourinho reinstated Michael Carrick to the starting 11 last season to sit alongside Herrera and Pogba, but he is now 35 and cannot be relied upon as a key starter. Keita would fit in well with the players around him and could help Man Utd turn more draws into wins by breaking up opposition attacks and carrying the ball forward.
Singing Keita would also significantly weaken a direct rival if it prevents Liverpool from snapping him up. Jurgen Klopp’s side finished well ahead of Utd last season and have already strengthened with Mohamed Salah, and Keita could really boost their chances of winning the title next season. He was a revelation for RB Leipzig last season, inspiring them to finish runners-up in the Bundesliga, ahead of heavyweights like Borussia Dortmund. They have already rejected a £57 million bid from Liverpool and seemed determined to keep him, but now have apparently softened their stance and will be prepared to do business at the right price. Man Utd are not short of money and singing the Guinean powerhouse would drastically strengthen their chances ahead of next season.
It is an exciting time to be a Man Utd fan. Last season’s sixth place finish was pretty dismal, but Mourinho stopped bothering with the league and went for the Europa League towards the end of the campaign. It paid off and gave them a second piece of silverware after winning the League Cup, and more importantly earned them a spot in next season’s Champions League. The core of a strong side is there, with the likes of David De Gea, Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Lukaku, and Mourinho – a coach with a great winning mentality and excellent pedigree – is busy supplementing it with expensive talent. For the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign, fans can start dreaming of winning the title once again.
The bookmakers certainly think they can do it. Free-spending Man City are the favourites, but many bookmakers have Man Utd as second favourites, ahead of champions Chelsea. That being said, you can still get very attractive odds on Mourinho’s side. Many are offering 7/2 on Man Utd winning the league next season and that looks a very attractive price. Check a review of BetOnline, a bookmaker with a reputation for competitive odds and trustworthiness, and get involved: the chance to more than treble your money on a team with such a strong manager, great players and huge ambition in the transfer market looks irresistible. At 7/2 you could even go each-way and almost cover yourself if they finish in the top three.