Man Utd primed to sign £43m-rated midfielder who ‘fought’ to join Chelsea last summer

Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara and Ajax star Edson Alvarez

Man Utd have two advantages and are a serious contender to snatch a Chelsea target in January who admitted he “fought” for a move to Stamford Bridge last summer.

Erik ten Hag had no qualms about raiding former club Ajax at the first time of asking. The Dutchman brought Lisandro Martinez and Antony with him to Old Trafford, though they weren’t the only Ajax stars in his sights.

Ten Hag also pushed to sign Jurrien Timber and Brian Brobbey, while holding midfielder, Edson Alvarez, drew early links.

United ultimately went with Christian Eriksen and then Casemiro once their Frenkie de Jong pursuit faded away. Given the start the two new Red Devils have made, it’s fair to say United did not lose out.

Chelsea spied an opportunity to nip in late in the window and duly lodged a €50m (approx. £43m) bid for Alvarez.

The Mexico international, 25, has now admitted he “fought” to join the Blues, though Ajax wouldn’t budge.

The Dutch side had already seen a vast array of their finest stars poached in a truly damaging summer window for the club.

Aside from Martinez and Antony, they also lost regular starters Andre Onana, Noussair Mazraoui, Nicolás Tagliafico, Ryan Gravenberch and Sébastien Haller.

Ajax greenlight January sale?

That emboldened Ajax to stand firm once and for all on Alvarez, though Dutch outlet De Telegraaf later claimed they’ll agree to a January switch.

Journalist Simon Phillips reported Alvarez is on a four-man midfield shortlist of Chelsea targets for January. The Evening Standard claimed Alvarez is Chelsea’s preferred target of the lot.

However, despite clearly being on board with a switch to Stamford Bridge, speculation is mounting Man Utd could hijack the deal.

Manchester United hold the distinct advantage of having a manager Alvarez knows well at the helm.

Calciomercato recently reported to presence of two recent Ajax teammates – Antony and Lisandro Martinez – could also sway the Mexican’s decision if both clubs bid.

Alvarez “fought” for Chelsea, but Man Utd could await

Explaining his situation last summer and confirming several previously reported claims, Alvarez told “Of course there was interest from Chelsea. Nobody expected that it would make another offer.

“It was a difficult situation. Ajax really couldn’t go anywhere. It couldn’t do anything more. It didn’t have a player in my position.

“Of course I fought as far as I could. I didn’t want to do that too much. Because I know the responsibility I have within the club.

“But yes, eventually you are aware that everything changes. A better competition, a better life for yourself and for your family. Because that’s what it’s all about in the end.

“I’ve always thought for myself that I’m here because of my love for football, but also for my family. That they are well, that I can take care of my children and my parents.

“So yes… On the other hand, it motivates me enormously that clubs of that size keep an eye on my matches, my actions.

“I am very disappointed [the move collapsed], but I am convinced that sooner or later a big club will come for me.”

Clearly, Alvarez will be on board with a move to the Premier League in 2023 if the opportunity arises.

Chelsea have midfield issues to contend with given N’Golo Kante and Jorginho are both off contract next summer.

However, given the advantages Man Utd hold, a move looks well within their means if Ten Hag wants another slice of Ajax at Old Trafford.

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