Andy Mitten says it is unlikely Manchester United will complete the signing of RB Leipzig centre-half Dayot Upamecano in the current transfer window.
The United We Stand editor was speaking on OTB AM, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side being heavily linked with the 21-year-old.
The links to the French star come as United prepare to wrap up the signing of Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek in the coming hours or days.
Upamecano has been touted as a likely partner to Harry Maguire in the heart of the United defence as a preferred option to either Victor Lindelof or Eric Bailly.
Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones all appear to be at the terminal end of their careers at Old Trafford.
Mitten says though that the Upamecano transfer may not go through before the window closes on October 5th.
"I'm told it's unlikely this summer. The problem United have got is there are priorities in other positions and there are about 46 central defenders at the club!
"If some of them are sold on, I think Chris Smalling has the most appeal to buyers there, then that situation may change. But I am told that is unlikely to be this summer.
"I wouldn't be surprised if there's only one more player coming. I think there's so much uncertainty around the economics of football, and there are assumptions that this season is going to play out normally.
"But what if there's another break because of Covid? What if there's another rebate going back to broadcasters? What if no fans are allowed back in? What if the general economy is so poor that sponsors start to pull back?
Asked a Dutch mate/journo about Donny van de Beek. “good player. Will need to gain some power but technique, pace and vision are really good. Attacking midfielder. Best going deep without the ball, combinations with strikers around the box. Not yet a starter in national team.”
— Andy Mitten (@AndyMitten) August 30, 2020
"Fans just don't want to hear that, they just want top players to sign, and I get that. But as a journalist my job is to ask questions, and I spent three hours on the phone yesterday speaking to people who had the answers to these questions.
"I'm writing a big cover story for FourFourTwo magazine on Manchester United and I think we're seeing a summer like no other, and not just at United. Look at the transfer movement of other clubs."
Mitten agreed though that Upamecano, who impressed as Leipzig made a run to the Champions League semi-finals last season, would add a lot to the United team.
"I agree he's a top defender. I watched him in Lisbon, I was there. I would have interviewed him had they won, but they didn't so I ended up speaking to the victors.
"It's a long time since Manchester United have been victors. I think if they would have won the Europa League it would have been a big success for United last season, but no they fell short, they ran out of steam. And they've got to prevent that from happening next season."
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