No Go For United Players
Manchester United fielded an enquiry from Tottenham Hotspur regarding moves for Anthony Martial and Juan Mata, but the transfer failed to materialise.
United were linked with interest in Spurs defender Toby Alderweireld throughout the transfer window. However, there was no formal contact between the two clubs and all negotiations were done through intermediaries.
United offered £55million in May. Spurs held out for £75million. That may prove costly as the Belgium international is out of contract next summer. The north London side have an option to trigger an additional year but a release fee of £25million kicks in – less than half the fee they could have received this summer.
But United did field a phone call from Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy the day before the transfer window closed, according to the Manchester Evening News. Spurs were interested in Martial and Mata having failed to sign any new players this summer.
Oddly, both clubs were operating on something like a sell-to-buy basis towards the end of the transfer window. It was a policy that annoyed Jose Mourinho as he saw his hopes of signing a new defender thwarted.
For Spurs, the spiralling costs of their new stadium meant they had to sell in order to free up funds for manager Mauricio Pochettino. Talks were ongoing over exits for Moussa Sissoko, Vincent Janssen and Fernando Llorente. All three remain at the club.
Tottenham were interested in Martial in June. United quoted them an artificially high transfer fee in order to deter any further interest. There was also talk over a swap deal involving the French striker and Alderweireld but that came to nothing.
Manchester United are unlikely to pursue their interest in Alderweireld in the January transfer window. He turns 30 next March and that’s a problem for the Old Trafford hierarchy. Moves for Willian, Ivan Perisic and Jerome Boateng were mooted. But they are all 29 years old and their age, along with the transfer fees being quoted, ended United’s interest.