Man Utd are free to hijack Chelsea’s number one midfield target in January, and a report claims Erik ten Hag has two secret weapons he can call upon to complete the raid.
Manchester United forked out well over £200m last summer, though by all accounts, their business is far from concluded. Indeed, a new goalkeeper is on the agenda with two high profile names in the frame to replace David de Gea.
Elsewhere, an attacking upgrade at right-back is on the agenda. Bayer Leverkusen’s Jeremie Frimpong and Inter Milan’s Denzel Dumfries are admired at Old Trafford, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka likely to be the fall guy is a new signing is made.#
A new forward will also be targeted and Fabrizio Romano recently revealed two reasons why PSV Eindhoven’s Cody Gakpo could tick that box.
The Dutchman’s situation is said to have “completely changed” since the summer, and a move could occur as early as January.
Finally, another addition in central midfield could be on the agenda despite signing Casemiro and Christian Eriksen in Erik ten Hag’s first window in charge.
That’s according to ESPN, who bring news of United’s interest in Chelsea target, Edson Alvarez.
Man Utd muscle Chelsea off Ajax destroyer
The Mexico international is well known to Ten Hag given he plies his trade for Ajax. At 25, he’s just now entering his prime years, something that Chelsea are all too aware of.
Indeed, journalist Simon Phillips recently told GiveMeSport Alvarez is on a four-man shortlist of midfield options for January.
The Blues’ need for midfield reinforcements could swell shortly with Jorginho and N’Golo Kante both out of contract in 2023.
Links between Chelsea and Alvarez aren’t new, with the Evening Standard reporting he was their ‘preferred’ winter window target back in September.
Adding further fuel to the fire was Dutch outlet De Telegraaf’s claim Ajax have already given the green light to selling Alvarez after the World Cup.
Chelsea bid around €50m for the holding midfielder late in the last window. However, Ajax were adamant they would not sell having already seen their squad gutted throughout a damaging summer.
However, according to ESPN (citing Calciomercato), United could hijack Chelsea’s move.
Aiding Ten Hag’s cause will be the presence of two players Alvarez knows well – Lisandro Martinez and Antony.
Both have started brightly at Old Trafford and will play major roles in Ten Hag’s tenure at the club. ESPN hint the former Ajax stars could give United an advantage if it comes down to a transfer battle with Chelsea.
Alvarez raid could harm Ten Hag reputation
Should Alvarez join the Red Devils, Ten Hag will take his tally of raids on his former employers to three.
Signing players from a former club is always a controversial topic. Indeed, many believe a manager should not tear down what he built, though conversely, the players he trusts are those he’s worked with most recently.
While a third Ajax raid may sour his legacy in Amsterdam, his loyalties can and will continue to lay solely with Manchester United for the foreseeable future.
Barcelona are also reportedly in the mix for Alvarez as they search for a Sergio Busquets successor in 2023.