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Transfer Predictions: Ronaldo to stay, Man Utd to sign Sesko and de Jong replacement

Part 1 and Part 2 of our transfer predictions went largely to plan – Lisandro Martinez and Christian Eriksen signed in July, and Malacia, once the interest was public, was a very quick transfer.

Manchester United are still pursuing Frenkie de Jong but have also lined up a backup, while Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave and United will need to sign one or two strikers depending on whether he stays or goes.

Incoming Transfers – Predictions

In midfield, de Jong is still the primary target, despite his agents trying to drum up a move to Chelsea through leaks to Barcelona-based Sport. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was previously touted as an alternative, but now the club seems to be sounding out Napoli’s Fabian Ruiz for a transfer this summer. Ruiz has also been mentioned as a possible Real Madrid target for next summer.

In attack, United are now close to making a bid for RB Salzburg’s Benjamin Sesko, who could potentially be signed for under £50 million. If he ends up serving as the replacement for an outgoing Ronaldo, we will need another attacker. Sasa Kalajdzic is also on the list albeit as a backup, and a different profile of player to Sesko.

United’s interest in Antony seems to have cooled after Ajax repeatedly raised the transfer value (a trick they employed in the Lisandro Martinez transfer), and there is a good chance United will wait till next summer for him. Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid) has been mentioned as an alternative (with a £50 million release clause) but he predominantly plays on the left wing whereas United need reinforcements on the right.

Predictions:

  • Frenkie de Jong to stay at Barcelona
  • United to sign alternative midfield target
  • Man Utd to sign Benjamin Sesko
  • United will sign a right back if Aaron Wan-Bissaka can be sold

Outgoing Transfers – Predictions

Eric Bailly (Roma, Sevilla), Axel Tuanzebe (Crystal Palace, Bournemouth) and Ethan Laird (Watford) are the most likely to leave, albeit all three look to be going on loan. Laird could potentially have been given the backup role to Dalot but ten Hag correctly wants experience in that position.

Teden Mengi may be kept in the U-21 team while United are also looking to offload Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace, Bournemouth), Alex Telles (Sevilla) and possibly Brandon Williams as well, although with Laird and Telles leaving Williams could be expected to stay and be a backup full-back on either flank.

The big story, of course, is going to be whether Cristiano Ronaldo leaves or not. United have so far said he’s not for sale, and Ronaldo will stick it out and play out his contract if he is forced to. United will not sell him to Chelsea nor will they sanction a loan deal.

For Ronaldo to go, he needs to convince a club (Atletico Madrid or Real Madrid – lacking backup to Karim Benzema – seem to be his only hope) to pay a substantial transfer fee AND take on his wages.

And of course – Phil Jones will hopefully leave – most likely for DC United (managed by Wayne Rooney).

Predictions:

  • Outgoing loans: Bailly, Tuanzebe, Laird, Telles
  • Possible sales: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Tahith Chong, Phil Jones
  • Possible loans: One of Facundo Pellistri or Anthony Elanga could go out on loan
  • Cristiano Ronaldo to stay at Old Trafford
  • Amad Diallo to stay at the club – his versatility in playing on the flanks and upfront will help the squad during a cramped fixture schedule

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