Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd join race for Xabi Alonso favourites as Ten Hag eyes double defensive upgrade

Jeremie Frimpong and Edmond Tapsoba next to the Man Utd badge

Man Utd have their eyes on two Bayer Leverkusen defenders

Manchester United are interested in a double raid on Bayer Leverkusen for full-back Jeremie Frimpong and centre-half Edmond Tapsoba, according to a report.

Frimpong and Tapsoba are parts of the Bayer Leverkusen squad that are enjoying an unbeaten season in the Bundesliga under the guidance of head coach Xabi Alonso.

Man Utd have looked at both players before and their current form is unlikely to take them off the radar, with Manchester Evening News confirming they remain targets for Erik ten Hag’s side.

On Saturday, Tapsoba started on the right-hand side of a back three for Bayer Leverkusen in their crucial win over defending champions Bayern Munich.

Frimpong came on as a substitute, but did so in time to score the last goal of the game as Alonso’s side opened up a five-point lead at the top of the table.

The Dutchman has been identified as a replacement for Aaron Wan-Bissaka at Man Utd, since the current right-back could be sold in the summer, one year before the end of his contract.

As for Tapsoba, the plan would be for him to become a long-term element in the centre of Man Utd’s defence.

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After all, the report raises concerns about Jonny Evans, Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire all being in their thirties – and Victor Lindelof will be too by the time next season starts.

With Varane and Evans approaching the end of their contracts, Man Utd could usher in a new era by making Tapsoba, 25, a long-term partner for Lisandro Martinez in defence.

However, it was only as recently as September that Bayer Leverkusen extended Tapsoba’s contract until 2028.

The following month, they also renewed Frimpong’s deal until the same date. With that in mind, neither of Man Utd’s targets would come cheap, although no asking prices are specified yet.

TEAMtalk sources have previously suggested a valuation in the region of £60m for Frimpong.

Man Utd could lure duo to Premier League

Frimpong joining Man Utd would have an interesting subplot: he used to play in the academy of their rivals Manchester City.

He never got the chance to make his senior debut for them, but the door might not be closed to him in the Premier League.

Nor has Tapsoba ever been a Premier League player, instead making his name in Portuguese football before Bayer Leverkusen signed him in January 2020.

He and Frimpong are now on course to earn Bundesliga winners’ medals, as long as Bayer Leverkusen don’t slip up in the final few months of the season.

Beyond then, they could be in demand in the transfer market, just like their manager will also be targeted by other clubs such as Liverpool.

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