Meunier Looks Best Bet
Manchester United are being linked with Thomas Meunier of Paris Saint-Germain and Kieran Trippier of Tottenham Hotspur as alternatives to Aaron Wan-Bissaka of Crystal Palace.
United are expected to be in the market for a right-back this summer with Antonio Valencia set to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season.
Both Trippier and Wan-Bissaka are being linked with interest from Old Trafford. However, United face the prospect of dealing with clubs who are reluctant to sell.
Trippier has been linked with interest from Napoli. But Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is expected to dig in his heels. That means negotiations over any sale are likely to continue right up to the transfer deadline. That in turn means that any transfer wouldn’t be finalised until the eve of the new season – not a state of affairs that Manchester United would welcome.
At 21 Wan-Bissaka is regarded as a better long-term prospect than either Trippier or Meunier. But the England Under-21 international is valued at £40-50million by Palace – a similar valuation to Trippier. However, Palace face the prospect of winger Wilfried Zaha also being sold this summer and the south London side will not sell two of their best players.
That just leaves Meunier. But even here, United may face some reluctance from PSG who have themselves earned a reputation as being a difficult club to deal with regarding the sale of players.
Meunier is a big Manchester United fan which could, in theory, make the move easier. But he has played in 20 of PSG’s 33 Ligue 1 games so far this season – 17 of which have been as a starter. However, he has just one year left on his current deal and the lack of playing time is a factor in his planning.
“Am I unhappy about being a sub more often than a starter? Of course, like any competitor would be. I have my theories as to why but don’t want to go into them,” he recently told Belgian newspaper L’Avenir.
“I have a year left on my contract, no point creating a fuss. As to extending contract or leaving? Good question! Discussions are going slowly. I get that my case is not a priority, but since nothing has moved, the message seems pretty clear to me.”