Manchester United may never have a better chance at signing Atletico Madrid stars – Richard Fay

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It almost looked like the end of an era when Atletico Madrid were knocked out of the Champions League on Thursday night.A late deflected strike from Tyler Adams saw RB Leipzig advance to the last four of club football’s most prestigious tournaments as the energy drink company-owned club drew a draw against the state-owned one. Qatar. Welcome to football in 2020.

The confirmation of the Champions League’s first semi-final only highlighted the growing change in club football, and Atletico’s defeat cast doubt on the likable’s long-term plan. Spanish team. Under Diego Simeone, they have grown into one of the most impressive teams in Europe, but a loss in a game that seemed so winnable could bring big changes, and Manchester United could thrive as well.

Columns of transfer gossip continue to spill over with updates from Jadon Sancho and the plethora of alternatives available if United fail to come to an agreement with Dortmund during a summer move, but the right wing does not is not the only area for improvement.

United’s resurgent form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw United shine after setting their best XI in the race, with a midfield trio of Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes providing the perfect balance to fight almost any oppositions. However, problems tended to arise whenever one of the favorite lines left the starting lineup, and that’s a big concern for next season.

United are likely to play most of the next campaign two games a week in such a busy schedule and Solskjaer will be put to the test in terms of squad rotation. Such a dilemma has led to many calls for a new attacking midfielder to ease the burden on Pogba and Fernandes, but there are arguments to suggest that Matic’s cover is the most pressing issue.

Over the past few weeks, Fred and Scott McTominay have struggled to offer the same level of defensive protection as Matic when deployed as midfielders, without any specialists in the role. Instead, there are good arguments to suggest that a new defensive midfielder is needed, and at Atletico there are options for both Saul Niguez and Thomas Partey. Partey is the more defensive of the two, but Saul, while not explicitly a holding midfielder by trade, operates regularly in central midfielder and would be an upgrade on United’s save options.

After a second straight season without a trophy, the duo might now be keen to embark on a new challenge following a failed Champions League progression, and a stint at United this summer would provide them with the platform to be at the heart of the game. ‘a winning project. rhythm, rather than resuscitating the one who has lost momentum.

United’s own Champions League qualification would make the move to Old Trafford much more appealing to players than before, while the additional transfer income would make the money issue less of a stumbling block in terms of attracting one or the other midfielder in the Premier League. .

United’s gradual rebuilding this summer will require more than just a new attacking option to take them to the next level, and it is with uncertainty at Atletico that Solskjaer is expected to begin his search for reinforcements in the midfield.

Saul and Partey both have key roles to play under Simeone at the Wanda Metropolitano, but if either feels like a new challenge, it could be a move to Old Trafford, which makes perfect sense for the player and club. While neither are worth their true transfer values ​​this summer, United are in a better position than most to spend big and could in turn fund Atletico’s next rebuild by taking the next step. .

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