Manchester United’s summer transfer plans are being frustrated by what they believe are unrealistic premiums being placed on young British players and are turning their focus on cheaper, foreign options, sources have told ESPN FC.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has targeted a host of homegrown players he wants to weave into his squad as he plots a rebuild at Old Trafford following a disappointing sixth-place finish in the Premier League.
But attempts to lure to the best British talent are being hampered by what United believe are huge price hikes. Sources have told ESPN FC that it has led Solskjaer and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward to look abroad.
United have lodged interest in Harry Maguire, James Maddison, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Ryan Fraser, Declan Rice, Ryan Sessegnon, Sean Longstaff and Nathan Collins put have so far been put off by what they consider to be vastly-inflated valuations.
Sources have told ESPN FC United have been quoted a price of more than £50 million for Crystal Palace full-back Wan-Bissaka despite playing just one full season in the Premier League. That fee would make the 21-year-old the fourth most expensive player in United’s history behind only Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and Angel Di Maria.
United are set to make 21-year-old Wales winger Daniel James their first signing of the summer after agreeing a deal with Swansea. James underwent a medical at Carrington on Thursday and is expected to be officially unveiled next week.
United had initially valued James, who has only had one season in the Championship, at under £10 million. Instead, they will pay Swansea £15m with the deal possibly rising to £22m if a series of add-on clauses are met.
In January, James was on the verge of joining Leeds United in a £1.5m loan deal with a view to move permanently for £8.5m this summer before Swansea pulled the plug. James’ move to United is complete but an official announcement may have to wait until Wales’ Euro 2020 qualifier against Hungary on Tuesday.
Sources have told ESPN FC the club are hopeful of completing at least one more signing before the players report back to preseason training on July 1.