Manchester United will have the chance to scout five potential targets in their next two Premier League games.
Wolves and Aston Villa are the next opponents for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, with both teams containing a number of players who could be brought to Old Trafford.
With United chasing Champions League qualification and several fringe players in the final year of their contract, a squad rebuild looks to be on the horizon.
And the visits of Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves tonight and Dean Smith’s Villa on Friday will give the Red Devils’ recruitment team the perfect chance to get a look at some potential targets in action.
Nuno’s side have been a consistent tormenter to United in recent seasons, with Solskjaer’s men winning just twice in the last seven meetings between the teams.
But with Raul Jimenez forced into a long absence with the head injury he suffered against Arsenal, Nuno has moved to select Daniel Podence, Adama Traore and Pedro Neto as a forward three.
Podence has impressed as a No.10 since making the £17million move to Molineux, scoring four top flight goals.
His form has also caught the eye of the Portuguese national team, as he made his international debut in October.
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The attacker impressed in the draw against Spurs on Sunday, drawing praise from his manager.
“Daniel did an amazing game on Sunday. They’re young players that are playing together now because of circumstances, but we believe as time goes by, we can improve them,” Nuno said.
Neto was also key as Wolves battled back from a goal down to gain that point, providing the assist for Romain Saiss’ equaliser.
The winger has established himself as a crucial part of Nuno’s side, netting nine goals and seven assists in his last two seasons.
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His performances in gold have certainly impressed his manager, who is under no illusion as to Neto’s potential.
“I believe he has a lot of potential to develop, he's a very talented player,” Nuno said.
“When things come together, and you have more than two or three players at their top level of performance, then the team can play good football. Neto is doing well now.”
Traore meanwhile has long established himself as one of the Premier League’s most dangerous players, with a habit of being at his best against the traditional Big Six.
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It might come as a surprise to some that he is still only 24, although is yet to really hit form this season after his breakthrough campaign in 2019/2020.
United are still in need of a right winger, having failed to sign one in the summer window. Traore could be the man to solve that issue and has been previously linked with a move to Old Trafford.
Another attacker who has found himself almost continually touted for a transfer to United is Jack Grealish.
The Villa captain has already notched more Premier League assists this season than he managed in the whole of the last campaign and has broken into Gareth Southgate’s England side.
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Pundits have routinely seen Grealish as a top target for United and he has the chance on Friday to prove to Solskjaer’s recruitment team that he should be brought to Old Trafford.
Grealish’s team-mate Ezri Konsa could be another man who United have their eye on, as they are rumoured to be in the market for a centre back.
Konsa has impressed for Villa, making the step up from the Championship to the Premier League with ease last season.
The former England Under 21 international is also relatively young at 23, which fits into United’s transfer philosophy under Solskjaer.
Villa have kept five clean sheets with Konsa at the back so far this season, conceding just 14 goals, statistics which could certainly interest United.
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