The coronavirus pandemic is likely to have massive financial implications on the upcoming transfer window but is seemingly unlikely to deter Manchester United from their aggressive pursuit of signing potential world-class stars. The 13-time Premier League champions are looking to boost quality in their academy and have adopted a model to sign high potential players early on to save on excessive transfer fees in the future. Hannibal Mejbri and Dillon Hoogewerf arrived from Monaco and Ajax respectively last season and Man United are likely to seal transfers for Sunderland's Joe Hugill, Barcelona's Marc Jurado and Birmingham City's Jude Bellingham this summer.
Birmingham City starlet Jude Bellingham has been on the radar of several elite European clubs but Man United and Borussia Dortmund have been earmarked as favourites for the 16-year old. According to The Standard, the Red Devils want Bellingham to immediately challenge for a first-team place if they win the race for the Birmingham starlet this summer. At a potential cost of around £30 million, a potential Jude Bellingham transfer will be the highest-profile recruit of an aggressive drive to land the best emerging talent from across the globe. Man United are also eyeing the signature of Sunderland’s Joe Hugill and the youngster is likely to go through a more traditional route of age-group football at Manchester United.
The Red Devils are also pushing hard for the signature of Barcelona’s Marc Jurado which could explain why the 13-time Premier League champions are not interested in signing Manchester City-bound Yan Couto. Jurado could turn out to be a major coup for Man United, with the young full-back reportedly priced at only £1.5 million. Promising Czech goalkeeper Radek Vitek is also joining the academy for next season.
If Man United complete the signings of all three - Jude Bellingham, Joe Hugill and Marc Jurado - it would represent Man United’s willingness to pay heavily for unproven potential and save a fortune down the road. A similar strategy is well exploited by Borussia Dortmund, but unlike the Bundesliga giants who sell for huge profits, Man United are trying to stay true to the club’s traditions of producing their own talent, but are also prepared to mine from other academies for the same.
Ed Woodward has actively looked to step up operations overseas and has actively looked for experts in France and Spain to identify potential world-class talents. Hannibal Mejbri was the first prominent investment by Man United, with a trio of future stars set to potentially arrive in the summer. Youngsters Brandon Williams and Mason Greenwood have already established themselves as a vital part of the first-team squad, with James Garner also termed as an elegant midfielder close to breaking into the first team. Whether Man United’s aggressive approach to land young talents will affect their summer plans remains to be seen, but as things stand, the future looks bright for the young guns at Man United.