BBC Sport report that Manchester United have entered into talks over Juventus striker Paulo Dybala. The Italian giants are looking to take Romelu Lukaku to Serie A, which has created the possibility of a swap deal. It is unlikely that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had the 25-year-old on his list of targets at the start of the summer, but an opportunity to sign a world class player can’t be turned down. Although the deal is at an early stage, supporters are getting excited on social media about the potential signing.
They are also rumoured to be close to signing Sporting midfielder Bruno Fernandes, according to Di Marzio. The Portuguese goal-scoring midfielder has been a target for the entire summer and Solskjaer likely has a role in mind for him. However, those plans may have to change if Dybala also arrives at Old Trafford.
Manchester United would be crazy to turn down the opportunity to sign Dybala. The Argentine is still developing and he has already shown world class form, at times, during his career. The 25-year-old looked set to break out in the 2017/18 season, as he scored 22 goals as Juventus won the Scudetto. However, he suffered following the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo, as shown by his Serie A goal return of five from 24 matches last season.
The Juventus star can play in a number of positions across the attacking line. Last season, he played on the right, as a central striker and as a number ten. It is thought that he is most effective in a deeper position playing off a centre forward. Fernandes is a midfielder rather than a forward, but he enjoys being given a license to roam and get into goal-scoring positions. If they both join, Solskjaer will need to find a combination that gets the best out of both of them.
To complicate this further, Paul Pogba looks likely to stay and he will want to be given a free role in the middle of the park. Manchester United may be set to make two eye-catching signings again, but there remain similar problems in the squad. Players seem to be signed for their reputation and potential advertising value, rather than individuals being identified for a specific need in the squad. Alexis Sanchez, Angel di Maria and, to a lesser extent, Paul Pogba have been examples of this.
Towards the end of last season, Solskjaer opted for a 4-3-1-2 narrow formation against Huddersfield. This could be a formation that he persists with if the club do sign Dybala and Fernandes. There would be flexibility in terms of the role that each player takes up. Marcus Rashford would likely be one of the front two and Anthony Martial could partner him. If that was to be the case, they could move out to offer the width in transition, allowing Dybala and Fernandes to move into advanced central positions.
Manchester United look set for an exciting finish to the transfer window, which will inject positivity into their supporters ahead of the campaign. It will be fascinating to see if Solskjaer can mould the individuals into a team. That has been the struggle since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson and the touted recruitment suggests it will be no different in the 2019/20 season.