There is a strange pattern to how a big Manchester United transfer being covered by the UK press in recent months. It is no coincidence that after almost every damaging United defeats, there are sensational transfer stories being covered about the club’s interest in some of Europe’s most valuable and wanted players. Take for instance, Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
It really baffles why the club would leak such stories of ambitious bids when the focus should lay on other important issues? Is it just to appease the fans and turn their attention elsewhere? Probably so.
On Sunday, The Daily Mail claimed United’s interest in Aubameyang. Rob Draper wrote that United are “closing in” on the £70million purchase of Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this summer.”
And two days later, when the wounds of United’s shock 2-1 defeat to Sunderland are still fresh and gushing, the same story being regurgitated, albeit with a slight difference: John Cross of the Mirror did some maths to make the figure more realistic – it’s £60m, folks. The narrative, as usual, remains the same.
He writes that Ed Woodward has identified Aubameyang as the #1 target for next summer, and he is ready to break the bank (no, not literally) to sign the African goal machine.
“And despite their struggles to qualify for next season’s Champions League, United are confident they can lure Aubameyang to Old Trafford.
United are ready to pay in excess of £60m, give him a £200,000-a-week contract and the promise of making him a global superstar.”
Fair enough. United are confident of signing a player who reportedly said that only a month back that he would not be leaving Dortmund under any circumstances.
“I am here and nowhere else – not at Arsenal, not at Barcelona, not on the moon – you can see that,” he said back in January. Of course, the interest from Arsenal since then has dramatically frizzled out.
Let’s cut to the chase – United have the money to lure top players, but unless they qualify for the Champions League, it is hard to see top players like Aubameyang or Lewandowski (trust me, only a matter of time before he gets linked as well in the form of an Exclusive) moving to Old Trafford. That is a harsh reality.