Manchester United have once more been linked with Inter defender Milan Skriniar, a player whose name has rarely been far away from transfer headlines in recent seasons.
Skriniar was first rumoured as a United target before the club completed a world record move for Harry Maguire, although further defensive reinforcement has continued to be a topic of transfer speculation, particularly with Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo having no futures at the club.
The Daily Mirror has claimed that United are ‘ready to step up’ in order to land Skriniar.
The Mirror alleges that Inter have ‘confirmed’ Skriniar can leave this year. That isn’t a fact that is known to be true and no such thing has been ‘confirmed’ in public.
It is said Inter would accept £52.5m, but as yet no club has indicated a willingness to pay more than £40m plus add-ons. That figure is quite different to the €70m (£62.4m) recently reported in Italy.
The Mirror also looks to build a transfer ‘battle’ by highlighting supposed interest from Real Madrid. Manchester City and Barcelona are other clubs that have been linked in the past.
Skriniar himself said in October 2019 that he doesn’t intend to leave Inter.
“I’m very satisfied here, I feel very good. I have a very good relationship with the fans. I don’t miss anything here and I play regularly. It’s for that reason I took this step. I don’t plan on leaving,” the Slovakian international said of his situation at Inter.
United have continued to be linked with expensive players beyond primary targets Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish and Jude Bellingham and it is important not to forget that executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward recently warned that no club will be immune from the impact of coronavirus.
Wealthy sides like United are better able to cope with it, but the effect won’t be zero.
“It feels somewhat inappropriate to see speculation about transfers for hundreds of millions in current circumstances,” Woodward said last month.
“There’s a big disconnect between those stories and the economic realities facing football clubs in general. Clearly, it’s true we are fortunate to be in a strong financial position compared to many clubs, but we are not immune from the financial impact of what this virus is doing.
“I would say that once we have that visibility of a path through the crisis and coming out of the other side to relative normality, then of course, we aim to remain highly competitive in the market.”