Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd hell-bent on crushing Man City by signing defender who’s outscoring Rashford and Fernandes

Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag, Man City manager Pep Guardiola

Man Utd hope to beat Man City to the signing of a free-scoring defender

Manchester United and Manchester City are both circling over a free-scoring defender who can be signed on the cheap thanks to a modest €40m release clause, according to a report.

One of the major stories in European football this season is Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen. The club have rather cruelly been dubbed ‘Bayer Neverkusen’ in some circles in Germany having failed to win a single Bundesliga title following a series of soul-crushing near misses over the years.

However, Leverkusen are primed to break their duck and currently hold a whopping 13-point lead over closest challengers Bayern Munich. With just seven games remaining, it would take a collapse of epic proportions to surrender the title from here.

Manager Alonso is a man in demand and had been courted by Liverpool and Bayern Munich. However, the classy Spaniard announced he’ll remain loyal to Leverkusen for at least one more season last Friday.

Many of Alonso’s playing personnel are also wanted men. Among them is defender Jeremie Frimpong who has put up staggering attacking numbers from right wing-back this season.

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The Dutch international, 23, has remarkably notched 11 goals and 11 assists across all competitions this term. Unsurprisingly, his exploits have not gone unnoticed.

Man Utd have long been linked with Frimpong who Ten Hag has coveted since taking charge at Old Trafford.

Frimpong – along with fellow Netherlands ace Denzel Dumfries – have both been touted as attack-minded upgrades on Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Now, a fresh update from the Sun has reaffirmed Man Utd hold strong interest in Frimpong. Man City too are named amid the claim Pep Guardiola believes Frimpong can be the long-term successor to 33-year-old Kyle Walker.

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United v City for Frimpong; release clause confirmed

The Sun revealed Man Utd officials have made ‘regular visits’ to Germany to watch Frimpong in action this term.

Furthermore, a bargain release clause worth just €40m/£34.1m becomes active this summer. The Sun as well as transfer guru Fabrizio Romano have confirmed the presence of the clause.

As such, Leverkusen will be powerless to prevent Frimpong’s exit if either Manchester club triggers the clause.

And given speculation Wan-Bissaka’s time at Old Trafford is up, it’s Man Utd who are set to have the greatest need for Frimpong this summer.

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Frimpong stands at just 5ft 6in tall and his lack of height could be a concern if deployed as an orthodox right-back in a back four by Erik ten Hag.

However, Ten Hag has shown faith in undersized players such as Lisandro Martinez who has arguably been the most successful of his signings thus far.

It’s Frimpong’s attacking numbers that catch the eye anyway, and his mark of 11 goals would place him second in United’s top scorers chart if he were at Old Trafford this season.

Rasmus Hojlund has netted 13 times across all competitions. Next in line – Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes – have only scored eight goals each.

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