Long-term Man Utd target 'verbally agrees' £23m Atletico Madrid move

  • Arthur Vermeeren previously tracked by a host of Premier League clubs
  • Manchester United among those interested in signing Belgian teenager
  • Atletico Madrid move to strike deal with current employers Royal Antwerp

Arthur Vermeeren looks to be heading to La Liga
Arthur Vermeeren looks to be heading to La Liga / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Royal Antwerp teenage sensation Arthur Vermeeren has verbally agreed to join Atletico Madrid despite interest from Manchester United and a host of other Premier League clubs, multiple reports have revealed.

The 18-year-old has been touted as one of European football's finest young prospects and played a prominent role in Antwerp's first ever Champions League campaign.

90min revealed in October that Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham had enquired about Vermeeren's availability, attempting to find out how much Antwerp would be willing to accept. Manchester United were subsequently credited with an interest in signing the Belgian playmaker, but he now looks set to join Diego Simeone and Atletico Madrid.

Belgian outlet HLN first revealed that a €27m (£23m) fee had been agreed between Antwerp and Atletico, and a 'verbal agreement' has now been reported.

Vermeeren is expected to head to the Spanish capital in the coming days, where he will finalise personal terms with Atletico before undergoing a medical. It's understood that a five-year contract will be put on the table for Vermeeren, bringing to an end Simeone's search for midfield reinforcements.

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Though a deal was never close to being agreed with United, missing out on Vermeeren is another blow to Erik ten Hag as he looks to overhaul his playing squad. The Red Devils are close to finalising Sir Jim Ratcliffe's 25% investment into the club, which may give the Dutch manager more wiggle room in the transfer market.

Currently, United are focusing on shifting high earning players off the wage bill. Raphael Varane and Casemiro are targets for the Saudi Pro League, while there's uncertainty over the futures of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof.

United may try to sign a striker before the January transfer window slams shut, though it's unlikely they will look to reunite Ten Hag with Ajax striker Brian Brobbey at this time. Bayern Munich's Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has been considered as a short-term option, potentially filling the understudy role to lead striker Rasmus Hojlund.