Manchester United’s hopes to sign Corentin Tolisso have been given a major boost after the 2018 FIFA World Cup winning midfielder has been deemed surplus to Bayern Munich and has been allowed to leave the club in the summer.
The 25-year-old playmaker had earlier expressed his interest to play in the Premier League after a promising inaugural season at Bayern was mired with injuries that took him out of contention for a place in the starting eleven.
Corentin Tolisso had been linked with United in the past when they tried to sign him on loan in January, only to opt for the more attack-minded Bruno Fernandes, who has thrived so far during his limited time in the league, winning the Player of the Month in February.
With both Paul Pogba and Manchester United looking to part ways in the summer, Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer has been looking to add midfield reinforcements. While Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish is a potential replacement and has been touted with a prospective move for a while, it would be unlikely for United to secure his services for anything less than £80 million if Villa avoids the drop into the Championship, hence, Tolisso is a viable option.
The 2017 Bundesliga and Bayern Munich record signing was involved in 15 goals in 34 appearances for the club during the 17-18 season in all competitions and also boasted a 91% pass completion rate. However, on the 3rd matchday of the 2018-19 Bundesliga season, he suffered a cruciate ligament rupture in his right knee, sidelining him for a span of 33 games. Since then, he has routinely struggled with his fitness and form, and recently in April 2020, he again underwent an ankle surgery which further ruled him out until the end of this month.
Now, according to Sport Bild chief Christian Falk, Bayern Munich are happy to cash-in on the midfielder with Manchester United already having made an attempt during the January transfer window and keeping their options open on a future move as well.
Bayern Munich intends to raise funds for their pursuit of Kai Havertz and Leroy Sane and dispatching Tolisso could be the easiest way to do that. Moreover, according to other reports, United have tasked former PSG sporting director Antero Henrique to complete the signing of Corentin Tolisso, who previously played a crucial role in closing Bruno Fernandes’s transfer from Sporting CP.
However, they face stiff competition from fellow PL rivals Arsenal as well as Inter Milan, Juventus, Napoli, and Atletico Madrid. A Tolisso transfer makes sense for all the parties involved. If the transfer goes through, Manchester United will be able to secure the services of a very talented midfielder entering the prime of his career. Moreover, Bayern Munich would then have the necessary transfer funds they need to pursue Man City winger Leroy Sane or Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz. Obviously, all this happens only if Pogba ends up leaving, and going by Solskjaer’s recent statements, it seems that he’s indeed had enough of half-hearted players playing for his team.
Given the services of Bruno Fernandes, the homegrown talents of Scott McTominay, and Andreas Pereira and the recent resurrection of Fred, the central midfield department provides a lot of options to Ole already. However, in terms of their creativity in the 2019-20 season, they were involved in only 7 goals and 7 assists in the Premier League, with an average pass completion rate of 80%. With Nemanja Matic not growing any younger, this squad could use the services of another box-to-box midfielder with a creative spark and a hunger for first-team football.
What United would lack without the services of Paul Pogba or Tolisso would be the qualities of a progressive playmaker. United up front, under Solskjaer, have been really good on the counter against teams that press higher up the pitch, but fail to break down defences which sit deep and don’t move up a lot.
This is where another deep-lying playmaker with a panache for setting teams up comes in, alongside Fernandes, to unlock these defences. Paul Pogba should have been that player and United fans expected him to be so, a couple of years earlier, but not anymore.
The Prima Donna of modern football, who seems to be stealing a living in recent days, would himself stutter when trying to remember a last thing of note that he did in a United jersey. All that hope of him being the centerpiece to Manchester United’s squad rebuilding never actually materialised and that centerpiece could now be Corentin Tolisso around whom Solskjaer’s Manchester United could be built.
However, with Corentin Tolisso, there comes a natural concern regarding his injury-ridden footballing career and that is where Manchester United needs to make the big decision.
Manchester United have to think considerably before adding Corentin Tolisso to their books as there are safer, less risky options than him in the injury department. However, if he can replicate his form before his injuries, they can be a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League.
For now, the circumstances might actually be in United’s favour and now its a matter of whether the decision-makers at Old Trafford (Yes Woodward you) prioritise this transfer well enough to make sure they go through with it without somebody else beat them to it like it has been the case recently.
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