Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd open talks with France international to replace limited star ruthless Ten Hag will ‘listen to offers’ for

France stars Marcus Thuram, Kylian Mbappe, Theo Hernandez, Olivier Giroud and Benjamin Pavard

Erik ten Hag is open to cashing in on a player who’s not put a foot wrong in 2023, with a report revealing Man Utd have opened talks over signing a sizeable upgrade.

Man Utd slipped to fourth place in the table on Sunday after falling to a chastening 2-0 defeat to Newcastle. The loss stretched their winless run in the league to three matches, with United on the receiving end of a 9-0 aggregate scoreline during that span.

The headlines at Old Trafford this summer are sure to revolve around which high profile centre-forward will be drafted in. However, recent results would suggest arrivals cannot be limited to just the final third.

Indeed, the Athletic report that aside from a new No 9, United are also targeting a box-to-box midfielder and an attacking upgrade at right-back.

Regarding the latter, Aaron Wan-Bissaka is poised to become the fall guy if Ten Hag gets his wish despite the 25-year-old proving his worth since the turn of the year.

Wan-Bissaka was close to leaving United in the January window, according to Fabrizio Romano. However, he earned a reprieve through his rock solid defensive displays during a time when Diogo Dalot was absent through injury.

However, Ten Hag has long held doubts over Wan-Bissaka’s suitability to his system given his attacking limitations. In 148 appearances for the club he’s returned just two goals and 11 assists.

Now, the Athletic’s Laurie Whitwell reports United will ‘listen to offers’ for Wan-Bissaka this summer having already held ‘exploratory talks’ with Benjamin Pavard.

It’s acknowledged a new striker and then box-to-box midfielder will take precedence. But if those positions can be remedied early in the window, a new right-back will then take centre stage.

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No better time to strike for Pavard

Early discussions have been held with France international Pavard who is out of contract with Bayern in the summer of 2024.

A sale at season’s end thus makes sense for Bayern to ensure they don’t lose a highly saleable asset for nothing 12 months later.

At 27, Pavard is in the prime of his career and would bring a wealth of top level experience through his time at Bayern and with France.

Crucially, he’d also represent a huge upgrade on Wan-Bissaka from an attacking standpoint. He’s scored six times this term, while his versatility also allows him to cover at centre-back if required.

Inter Milan’s Denzel Dumfries is another attack-minded right-back on United’s radar. The Dutch international recently changed agents ‘in anticipation of a possible transfer’ this summer.

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