Manchester United are ready to abandon two prospective summer deals after welcoming the surprise return of Jonny Evans to Old Trafford – but the Northern Irishman’s second spell at the club is likely to spell curtains for Harry Maguire.
The future of the deposed former Man Utd captain continues to dominate column inches. After falling down the pecking order at United under Erik ten Hag, it came as no surprise when the defender was this week stripped of the armband.
Despite the move being highly-anticipated by many, the decision has reportedly shocked and upset 30-year-old star. To that end, he is reportedly on the radars of West Ham, Aston Villa and Newcastle as he looks to rebuild his club career.
However, Wednesday’s Transfer Gossip claims it is Chelsea who are emerging as serious contenders for his signature. A cruel injury blow for Wesley Fofana has seemingly enhanced Mauricio Pochettino’s need to land the 57-times capped England star.
Per reports, United though are seeking as much as £50m for their one-time £80m signing. His suitors though are reportedly hoping to striker a deal for around half that amount. Figures of £25m – £30m are being floated about, given United’s desperation to move him on.
However, his exit from the club is far to be simple. And reports on Tuesday evening claim the centre-half will demand a £20m pay-off from the Red Devils with two years left on his deal.
In the meantime, United have cleared the decks for the departure of Maguire by bringing back Evans.
The 35-year-old’s stint at Leicester came to an end last month following their relegation from the Premier League.
Evans arrival spell curtains for Maguire at Man Utd, curtails Disasi swoop
Now a free agent, Evans has been training with United over the past couple of weeks.
However, after catching the eye back at their Carrington training complex, Ten Hag has decided to offer Evans a short-term deal. Currently just a month-long deal, Evans’ inclusion in their squad to tour the USA is telling.
The chance to tour America comes about following an injury to young centre-half Rhys Bennett.
Evans, who started his career with United back in 2006, will likely be offered chances to impress against Arsenal (Saturday 22), Wrexham (Wednesday 26), Real Madrid (Thursday 27) and Borussia Dortmund (Monday 31)
And if he further catches the eye, there is a strong chance Evans could sign a one-year deal with the club.
Operating as a fourth-choice centre-half, he would provide cover for Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof.
But his arrival will, almost certainly, spell the end for Maguire.
Furthermore, it will also likely end United’s interest in signing two centre-halves.
And after missing out on Kim Min-jae to Bayern Munich, United had turned focus to Axel Disasi and Jean-Clair Todibo.
However, despite positive talks over Disasi, he would have cost United a fee of €40m (£34m).
Given the restrictions with their budget, and with Ten Hag’s focus on strengthening other areas, both those deals are likely to be abandoned.
Evans’ return for a year could, however, see efforts to sign the pair – with Disasi the top target – next summer.
In the meantime, United will focus on wrapping up the Andre Onana swoop. Rasmus Hojlund will be their next target, while a final foray of the summer could see another midfielder signed.