Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd rejected five major names including ex-Chelsea star before signing Sabitzer, with Ten Hag appeal averting transfer disaster

Former Chelsea midfielders Saul Niguez and Ross Barkley

Man Utd were able to avoid riskier moves for equally high profile names on deadline day after Erik ten Hag proved pivotal in helping to lure Marcel Sabitzer to Old Trafford, per reports.

Once Christian Eriksen was sidelined for up to three months with an ankle injury, a mad scramble to sign a suitable replacement ensued.

Man Utd are hunting trophies on three fronts and Eriksen has been a vital part in everything they’ve done well this season.

Fred and Scott McTominay are on the books, though their games more closely resemble Casemiro’s not Eriksen’s.

As such, a more creative-minded player was targeted and once United let it be known they were in the market, all manner of names were offered to the club.

Ultimately, the Red Devils moved for Bayern Munich’s Marcel Sabitzer who has already split opinion. Paul Merson described the Austrian as a “panic” buy, though his comments were later savaged by Rio Ferdinand.

In any case, Sabitzer represents a low-risk and somewhat proven option. His deal is only a six-month loan and there’s no option or obligation to buy. If Sabitzer fails to impress, Man Utd won’t be stuck with an underperforming player for the long haul.

Sabitzer wasn’t a regular starter at Bayern upon arriving from RB Leipzig in 2021. However, given the Bavarians have Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka pulling the strings, that should come as no surprise.

The 28-year-old was previously a bona fide superstar with Leipzig and once made aware of United’s interest, is understood to have immediately greenlit the move. Furthermore, the opportunity to work with Ten Hag reportedly appealed.

The Dutch manager has barely put a foot wrong since taking the reins and his appeal ensured United were able to reject other, more dubious deals in favour of landing Sabitzer.

Indeed, Sky Sports’ Dharmesh Sheth reported Leicester’s Youri Tielemans was under consideration, though would’ve cost a sizeable fee even after entering the final six months of his deal.

A permanent move for the Belgian could’ve been explored, though would’ve taken away from United’s summer budget where they’re expected to go big on a striker. What’s more, Tielemans would’ve dropped out of the eleven once Eriksen returned to full fitness anyway.

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Ex-Chelsea loanee among four offered to Man Utd

Sheth provided another update on who else was offered to United, and listed household names Isco, Houssem Aouar, Yannick Carrasco and Saul Niguez.

Isco is currently a free agent having seen his contract at Sevilla terminated in December. He had been tipped to join Union Berlin, though the move ultimately fell through after the Spaniard apparently upped his demands.

Former Chelsea loanee Saul was another offered to United and given his far from impressive cameo at Stamford Bridge last season, that move might’ve added to Ten Hag’s problems, not solved them.

“Lots of agents then bombard a football club about ‘take our player, take our player’,” said Sheth.

“I’m told in the last few minutes that Isco was offered to Manchester United. He’s out of contract, his contract was terminated with Sevilla back in December.

“Saul Niguez of Atletico Madrid was offered. Houssem Aouar, he’s been a name we’ve been mentioning in the last three or four transfer windows, he was offered to Manchester United.

“Yannick Carrasco, as well was offered to Manchester United and I’m told that United didn’t pursue any of those deals, even though they had the opportunity to do that, because Sabitzer was the one that they were interested in and that’s the one that they wanted.”

READ MORE: Late Man Utd deal goes through to give Ten Hag big decision after never seeing star play