Striker In Fresh Link
Manchester United are being linked once again with West Ham United striker Marko Arnautovic.
United were linked with the Austria international at the end of last season with reports suggesting he could be on his way to Old Trafford in a deal worth around £20million. The deal didn’t happen and Arnautovic remained with the Hammers. He has scored five Premier League goals this season at an average of one for every 181 minutes on the pitch.
The Daily Telegraph believes United have expressed an interest but that they won’t be putting in a bid in the January transfer window. In that case the chances of any deal happening are close to zero. Arnautovic is 29. He turns 30 in April and United’s board nixed a number of potential transfer targets last summer of players who had either turned 30 or who were about to.
Some outlets claim West Ham will demand £50million for Arnautovic and that intermediaries have put his name about to a number of clubs. It could be from these intermediaries – agents who have no direct link with either Arnautovic or United – that this latest story has come from.
The striker has three years left on his current deal with West Ham.
Mourinho Watches Witsel
It’s a similar story with another player Manchester United are being linked with: Borussia Dortmund midfielder Axel Witsel.
Jose Mourinho recently went on a scouting mission to watch Belgium play Iceland in a Nations League match and ‘sources’ have told ESPN that the United boss was there to watch Witsel.
The midfielder only moved to Dortmund in the summer in a €20million transfer from Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian. He has started in 11 of his side’s 12 Bundesliga matches and was a substitute in the other.
With Witsel in such impressive form for a side that’s top of the league it’s difficult to see Dortmund sanctioning an exit.
Plus, like Arnautovic, Witsel is 29 – he turns 30 in January – so United are unlikely to want to pay anywhere near the kind of fee that Dortmund would demand.