Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Double Man Utd disaster as priority transfer falls through and Arsenal, Chelsea threaten to hijack option No 2

Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag

Man Utd are facing double heartache with regards to their quest to sign a new centre-half this summer, according to reports.

The Telegraph recently listed Harry Maguire and Eric Bailly as being among those Man Utd will listen to offers for this summer. With Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones both leaving as free agents, Erik Ten Hag would be left with just Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof at the heart of defence.

Luke Shaw has proven he can deputise at left centre-back when required, though a club like United need not be reliant on makeshift selections.

Indeed, Napoli colossus, Kim Min-jae, emerged as Man Utd’s primary defensive target. Fabrizio Romano confirmed as much and reports in Italy went hard on talk of an agreement being struck between United and Kim.

However, the Italian press jumped the gun, with German giants Bayern Munich instead the ones poised to sign the dominant defender.

Kim’s current contract contains a release clause worth around €50m (approx. £43m) that can be triggered during a two-week period from July 1-15.

Bayern fully intend to activate that clause and per Romano, the player will move to Bavaria barring any late hiccups.

Now, according to Football Insider, Man Utd are prepared to admit defeat on the idea of bringing Kim to Old Trafford.

The online outlet stated Man Utd are ‘set to pull out of the race’ for the 26-year-old. That development will no doubt be greeted warmly over in Munich, with Bayern set to have a free run at landing Kim without the spectre of Man Utd looming large.

Arsenal, Chelsea threaten back-up plan

When the news of Kim tracking towards joining Bayern Munich broke, Fabrizio Romano and CBS Sports’ Ben Jacobs both touted Axel Disasi (Monaco) and Jean-Clair Todibo (Nice) as alternative targets for United.

Disasi would represent the more readymade option of the two. Disasi (25) is two years more experienced than Todibo (23) and already has four senior caps for France to his name since debuting in 2022.

But while French outlet RMC Sport report Man Utd are primed to open talks with Monaco, they also sound a worrying warning.

Indeed, their reporter, Fabrice Hawkins, tweeted: “Arsenal and Chelsea who are about to lose Kalidou Koulibaly, are interested in the defender (Disasi)”.

Hawkins stressed Man Utd are “ahead” in the race at present, before adding Disasi is likely to command a fee of around €40m (approx. £34.3m) to sign. Nonetheless, the Red Devils don’t appear like they’ll have a deal for Disasi all their own way.

One factor that could aid Man Utd’s chances is if Arsenal see an improved bid for Ajax’s Jurrien Timber accepted.

The Gunners failed with an opening gambit worth £30m. Ajax hope to generate around £50m the Netherlands international.

But with an improved bid coming and Timber clearly preferred to Disasi, Arsenal succeeding in negotiations with Ajax would remove them from the Disasi equation.

That would still leave the Chelsea threat hanging over Man Utd, though one rival bidder is obviously preferrable to two.

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