Man Utd retain Frenkie de Jong interest & consider permanent Marcel Sabitzer transfer
Frenkie de Jong remains top of Manchester United's list of targets for the upcoming transfer window, 90min understands.
The Dutch midfielder, who was subject of an ultimately unsuccessful three-month long pursuit last summer, is still wanted by United manager Erik ten Hag, and the club are willing to make another attempt to lure him from Barcelona ahead of next season.
United would like to add extra quality to their options in central midfield and do have other targets in the position, but they are set to explore the possibility of signing 25-year-old De Jong as their first port of call due to Ten Hag's desire to sign the player and Barcelona's difficult financial position. La Liga president Javier Tebas earlier this week ruled the club would need to make cuts before buying this summer.
De Jong's ability to transition the ball through midfield made him a key part of Ten Hag's successful Ajax team of years past, and the manager believes his traits could elevate United's quality in that area moving forward.
United felt they had enough of an indication from the player last summer to continue pushing for a transfer, with an issue of Barcelona's failure to repay millions in deferred wages to the player the main stumbling block. They are set to revisit the situation this time around, though also have other targets to strengthen their options in midfield.
Ten Hag's side also hold interest in Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham, though are reserved on the player as he has not yet indicated enough willingness to join for United to step up a pursuit. Liverpool, Manchester City and Real Madrid are very much heading the chase for the England man.
It remains imperative for United however to this summer raise funds through player sales, and a number of first team options are available for the right price. United are aiming to correct their wage bill and earn themselves more working room amid shrinking Financial Fair Play restrictions, with a spending cap on wages, transfers and agents’ fees to 70% of a club’s total revenue by 2025/2026 introduced by UEFA.
Academy graduate Scott McTominay is wanted by a number of Premier League clubs, including Newcastle and West Ham, and United are willing to sell the player after nearly a season working under Ten Hag. United are hoping that the interest from a range of league rivals could drive the selling price up to in the region of between £25m and £30m.
90min also listed Everton, Southampton, Leeds and Leicester as interested parties in January, though United were not open to selling at the time. The situation is set to change come the end of the season.
McTominay would have the chance upon leaving to play regular first team football, which is already not coming at Old Trafford following Casemiro's arrival, and minutes will be even more difficult to come by next season with another arrival in central midfield.
United took Marcel Sabitzer on loan from Bayern Munich until the end of the season on deadline day in January, and though a decision has not yet been taken on a permanent deal, 90min understands those within the club sense an opportunity to upgrade in the position for a relatively cheap price. A healthy relationship with Bayern Munich could mean United take the Austrian permanently for a fee of under £20m.
Bayern have no plans to reintegrate the player at present and see him surplus to requirements as they are also bringing in his countryman Konrad Laimer to Munich this summer, meaning United could potentially find themselves an upgrade on McTominay in midfield while simultaneously making a profit, if they are to sell McTominay for a maximised price. A primary target such as De Jong would still be targeted on top of that, with quality in depth in midfield a priority.
United also have Christian Eriksen, Bruno Fernandes, Fred and Casemiro as midfield options, while Donny van de Beek remains on the books. His injury status at present means selling the player will be difficult for United to manage in the summer.
Ten Hag's United are also looking to sign a new centre forward before next season, while a new centre half may also be on the agenda depending on departures from the current squad.
On this week's edition of TFP, Harry Symeou hosts Grizz Khan, Scott Saunders and Hunter Godson to preview the weekend's Premier League action, including Man Utd's trip to Anfield to face Liverpool.
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