Manchester United courting Seamus Coleman and Gabriel Barbosa?
Manchester United, 16/1 with Coral to lift the Premier League, could be set to make a £25m move for Everton’s attack-minded defender Seamus Coleman.
Louis van Gaal is believed to be keen on swooping for the Republic of Ireland international in the January sales, as the Dutchman continues to tinker with his superstar squad.
The Red Devils are reportedly searching for a right wing back able to operate in both Van Gaal’s preferred 3-5-2 formation, as well as in a more traditional system with four at the back.
Coleman, 26, would certainly fit the bill, having become a fixture in the Toffees’ team due to his lung-busting forays forward.
Blessed with a stinging shot from distance and accurate crossing ability, the fleet-footed full back has gained 17 goals and as many assists in 160 appearances for Everton.
United are long-rumoured to have held an interest in the 25-capped Ireland star, who began his senior career with Sligo Rovers, before being snapped up for around £60k in 2009 by the Merseyside men.
A mooted transfer to Manchester last summer never materialised, however, despite claims that the Premier League giants intended to use former Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini as bait to tempt Roberto Martinez into a deal.
With concerns over current Red Devils right back Rafael’s injury problems, and wideman Antonio Valencia perhaps not considered a long term solution for the role, Van Gaal is expected to make a bid in January.
The Old Trafford outfit could face competition from Chelsea, despite the Stamford Bridge side already boasting Branislav Ivanovic and Cesar Azpilicueta in Coleman’s position.
United are expected to swing any negotiations in their favour by offering out-of-favour attacking midfielder Adnan Januzaj to the Toffees on loan in an attempt to sweeten a deal.
The Belgian starlet was the breakout star of last season, but has struggled for playing time under Van Gaal so far.
If the Red Devils can secure their supposed defensive targets this January, their attentions could then turn towards the summer transfer window and young Santos striker Gabriel Barbosa.
Skilful Barbosa, just 18 years old, is expected to follow in the footsteps of compatriot Neymar and depart Brazil for Europe.
Barcelona are believed to have first option on a deal for the youngster, but United, 6/1 chances to win the FA Cup, are said to be waiting in the wings alongside the likes of Inter Milan and Real Madrid.
Barbosa is yet to make his debut for Brazil, which could lead to work permit problems, but the tricky teenager is widely expected to be selected in the Samba Boys’ squad sooner rather than lately, with Van Gaal supposedly hopeful of securing his services this summer.