Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Reigning champions threaten Man Utd by accelerating move for midfielder

Atletico Madrid are putting an offer on the table to Manchester United midfield target Marcelo Brozovic, according to one transfer reporter.

Brozovic is in the final year of his contract with Inter Milan, whom he has played for since 2015. Unable to satisfy his wage demands, the Serie A champions look likely to lose him in 2022.

The Croatian midfielder could either leave in a cut-price January transfer or sign a pre-contract agreement with a view to next season.

Either way, Brozovic looks likely to be on the move – and a number of clubs have been looking at him from the Premier League.

Newcastle United are said to be testing the waters for a potential deal for a man who has also been linked with Chelsea.

But according to journalist Ekrem Konur, Atletico Madrid are now planning their own offer to the soon-to-be 29-year-old.

The La Liga champions want to reinforce their midfield. They allowed Saul Niguez to leave on loan for Chelsea in the summer and his future at either club is now in doubt.

Atletico will be wanting to replenish that area of the pitch and have identified Brozovic as a target.

They are ready to put an offer of a two-year contract, with the option to extend for a further year, on the table for Brozovic.

But Konur reminds that there is other competition for his services. Man Utd are namechecked as one of the prime alternative suitors.

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United have identified midfield as a priority area to strengthen. Neither member of their starting double pivot, Scott McTominay and Fred, is a natural defensive midfielder.

Nemanja Matic is the only player in the squad who could be described as such. It would be useful to find someone more comfortable there to provide balance.

Brozovic is accustomed to playing as a defensive midfielder, although he isn’t afraid of getting forward either. He has scored 26 goals across his Inter career from 257 games.

He has been identified as a good fit for United’s midfield, but they may have to hurry up any plans to make their own offer.

In addition, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona are showing an interest. Both clubs have been alert to opportunities for free signings recently; in the summer, PSG took Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnaruma and Georginio Wijnaldum on such terms, while Barca acquired Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia without paying fees.

Brozovic is an appealing proposition for many clubs but only time will tell who snaps him up.

Inter chief not concerned about Tottenham raid

Another suitor to recently emerge for Brozovic was Tottenham Hotspur.

Of course, Antonio Conte has just taken charge of the club as head coach. It marks his return to management following his title triumph with Inter last season.

Conte could be looking to overhaul the midfield he has inherited. There have been question marks over the long-term futures of the likes of Tanguy Ndombele, Harry Winks and Dele Alli.

The new boss knows Brozovic well and clearly trusts him after giving him 88 appearances during his Inter tenure. No other coach has used the Croat more at any of his clubs.

Brozovic is therefore one of many Inter players Conte could hope to reunite with. Others include centre-back Stefan De Vrij and midfielder Nicolo Barella.

But the Nerazzurri seem to have little fear about losing anyone to their former coach in January at least.

Their director Piero Ausilio has said: “I’m not worried about Antonio Conte and our players. In January we won’t consider any possible exit.”

Come the summer, certainly in Brozovic’s case, it could be a different story.

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