Man Utd: The first six fixtures of the new Premier League season
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Manchester United are still reportedly eyeing the signing of Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already snapped up Tom Heaton, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane so far this summer. But the decision to target the Portugal international may stem from the success they’ve had with his countrymen over the years.
According to 90min, United are still targeting Neves.
The Portugal international has been a consistent performer in the Premier League over the past three years, helping the club consolidate their position in the top flight.
United have, as mentioned above, spent the majority of their transfer budget so far on deals for Sancho and Varane.
The former touched down from Borussia Dortmund, while Varane decided to leave Real Madrid for Old Trafford after 10 glittering years in Spain.
But United aren’t done yet and would love for Neves to be another arrival of the transfer window, while also holding out hope they’ll be able to secure the signing of Atletico Madrid star Kieran Trippier.
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Neves appears to be their main midfield target over Saul Niguez and Eduardo Camavinga, who have also been linked.
And the club’s positive record with Portuguese players may be behind their thinking.
Few had heard of an 18-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo when he moved to United back in the summer transfer window of 2003 as David Beckham’s replacement.
The Red Devils had originally intended to sign Ronaldinho from Paris Saint-Germain but, when they were rebuffed, swooped for Ronaldo instead.
It took the current Juventus star a little time to adjust to the hardships of English football.
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But he returned from the 2006 World Cup a player drastically transformed and, in the three years that followed, was unplayable.
Ronaldo played a massive role as United won three league titles on the spin under Sir Alex Ferguson, while also propelling them to Champions League glory in 2008.
And, by the time he left for Real Madrid back in the summer transfer window of 2009, he’d established himself as an Old Trafford legend.
Nani wasn’t bad, either.
United signed the Portugal international from Sporting in 2007, four years after they’d raided the Primeira Liga side for Ronaldo.
Nani had a fondness for scoring screamers during his time at the club and, when his countryman left, did a good job at taking on the mantle.
He was particularly brilliant in the 2010/2011 campaign, scoring nine goals and registering 19 assists across all competitions.
And there was definitely sadness when Louis van Gaal brutally cut him loose upon taking over from David Moyes in 2014.
At present, United have another Portuguese player inspiring their side.
We are, of course, referring to the excellent Bruno Fernandes – who hasn’t put a foot wrong since moving from Sporting in January last year.
He’s almost single-handedly lifted the club to new heights and his hat-trick against Leeds last Saturday suggests he’s set for another positive campaign.
So while United admire Camavinga and Saul, Neves is their chosen target.
And history may be playing a big role in that decision, with Ronaldo, Nani and Fernandes all undisputed Old Trafford hits.
If they can get another one of those in the door, title glory may just beckon.
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