Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd plotting huge playmaker transfer with Ten Hag signing under serious threat if Tottenham, Newcastle are blown away

Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia and Leicester City playmaker James Maddison

Man Utd have joined Tottenham and Newcastle in the race to sign a deadly Premier League playmaker who could quickly displace a recent Erik ten Hag recruit, per reports.

Man Utd splashed out over £200m in Erik ten Hag’s first window at the helm. The Red Devils were criticised for overpaying in some quarters. However, few can argue the bulk of their signings don’t already look like smart buys.

Lisandro Martinez has quickly established himself as the No 1 centre-back at Old Trafford. Casemiro has bedded in after a slow start and played a huge part in both goals in the 2-1 victory over Everton.

Antony has three goals in his first three league matches. However, arguably the greatest value piece of business was that of Christian Eriksen.

The classy Dane, 30, joined on a free after United tabled more favourable terms than Brentford. Eriksen has slotted into Ten Hag’s double pivot seamlessly and has earned rave reviews from club legend Paul Scholes.

However, according to the Spanish press, United have entered the race to sign Leicester City’s James Maddison. On the back of that development, the Manchester Evening News suggest Eriksen could be at risk.

The original Spanish report is covered by both Caught Offside and the MEN. It’s claimed Man Utd are now alongside Tottenham and Newcastle in pursuing Maddison.

The 25-year-old has been Leicester’s leading light this season in an otherwise dismal campaign. While those around him have struggled, Maddison has already plundered five goals and two assists in nine matches.

He can operate either on the wing and cut inside, or as a No 10. He’s also adept at playing slightly deeper in a central midfield role akin to where Ten Hag plays Eriksen.

Man Utd already painting a post-Eriksen picture?

The MEN report that versatility could appeal to the Dutch boss and state signing Maddison ‘would allow United to plan in the long-term for an eventual replacement for [Eriksen].’

The Spanish report states Newcastle and potentially Tottenham could stand in United’s way.

Newcastle bid twice for Maddison over the summer, with the Guardian reporting their final offer was £45m plus £5m in add-ons.

Leicester predictably turned it down, but if the Foxes continue to struggle, Maddison may begin angling for a move up the table.

His Leicester contract has less than two years to run, while a move to a bigger side could also aid his England hopes for the future.

The i newspaper recently reported Newcastle are expected to try again for Maddison, potentially in January.

If the Spanish press are correct and Man Utd are interested, Maddison’s future could come to a head straight after the World Cup.

Who else is on Man Utd’s radar?

Thursday’s Euro Paper Talk brought news of a possible move for Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio.

The Spanish attacker, 26, is poised to become a free agent next summer. Reports out of Spain reckon United could be wiling to take a chance on the player who hasn’t started a single match this season.

He’s facing the unenviable task of displaying either Rodrygo or Federico Valverde on Carlo Ancelotti’s right side. Thus far, it’s a battle he’s losing and an exit is looking likely.

The winter window represents Real’s last chance to generate a fee if an extension isn’t forthcoming.

Asensio has done little wrong in Spain and would be an intriguing option. His contract status also means he’d cost far less than Maddison, though the Leicester talisman comes with the advantage of being Premier League-proven.

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