Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd to rip heart out of Leverkusen with insane quadruple raid; Ashworth dreams of €180m spree to revitalise Red Devils

Bayer Leverkusen stars Exequiel Palacios, Jeremie Frimpong, Edmond Tapsoba and Odilon Kossonou are all Manchester United targets

Exequiel Palacios, Jeremie Frimpong, Edmond Tapsoba and Odilon Kossonou are all Manchester United targets

Manchester United are gearing up for what would be an astonishing transfer raid on Bayer Leverkusen with FOUR of their star names, including Edmond Tapsoba, all on incoming new sporting director Dan Ashworth’s wishlist.

The Red Devils are in fine form so far this calendar year, going on an unbeaten eight-game run that has seen them ease through to the FA Cup fifth round and, more importantly, resurrect hopes that a push for the Champions League places. As things stand, Manchester United currently sit just five points adrift of Aston Villa in the race for the top four, though Tottenham too will also likely have a say in the shake-up.

Meantime, United are also getting their house in order off the field too with Ratcliffe’s 27.7% purchase into the Glazers’ shareholding in United finally going through on Tuesday night. The British businessman has paid around £1.4bn for just over a quarter ownership of United, which will also grant the 71-year-old full sporting control of the club.

To that end, Ratcliffe has already made his presence felt, bringing in Omar Berrada as chief executive officer, having persuaded him to move from Manchester City, while a deal to bring in Ashworth as the club’s first sporting director is also in the works.

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The 52-year-old has reportedly agreed to make the move – much to Newcastle’s annoyance – with the two clubs reportedly discussing a compensation package for the former Brighton and England technical director.

Ashworth’s brief will be a simple one: find and recruit the world’s elite talent and help transform United back among the pinnacle of English and European football.

Man Utd explore deal to sign Edmond Tapsoba

Per widespread reports, Ratcliffe and Ashworth plan to bring in at least four new players this summer, with a large emphasis on quality over quantity to help with the rebuild.

To that end, the duo will seemingly focus on the spine of the side with a defender, midfielder and new striker among their targets.

However, a trusted source on Tuesday also revealed United are ready to meet the £50m exit clause needed to sign Michael Olise, with the Crystal Palace star a ‘categorical and confirmed’ target of the Red Devils.

Reports in Germany, however, believe Ashworth’s quest to strengthen the United squad is likely to be focused fully on Bayer Leverkusen, who are riding high at the top of the Bundesliga this season.

Currently eight points clear of 11-time defending champions Bayern Munich, Xabi Alonso’s side have a great chance of winning the first Bundesliga crown of their 119-year existence.

However, keeping their squad intact looks an even taller order for Leverkusen with Alonso himself linked with both Liverpool and Bayern Munuch and practically each and every one of their star-studded squad attracting attention from overseas.

To set the ball rolling, BILD reckons United will turn to commanding centre-half Tapsoba as a priority summer signing.

The Bukina Faso defender stands 6ft 4in and has evolved into one of the best defenders not just in the Bundesliga but in world football. Contracted to summer 2028, it would take a collosal €60m fee alone to prise him away from the Bay Arena.

TEAMtalk also understands that United are far from alone in their quest to land the 25-year-old, with Tottenham also making contact with the player’s representatives FMA Sports.

Quadruple Leverkusen raid to cost Man Utd staggering £154.2m

However, Tapsoba is far from the only player in their sights with BILD also reporting that United are keen on three of his teammates too.

Indeed, United interest in full-back Jeremie Frimpong is nothing new, with the Red Devils very much on his trail last summer and even discussing a possible move with his agent.

That option was ultimately put on ice as Erik ten Hag put his trust in both Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot, combined with the fact that United needed to sell before they could spend any further money.

However, their interest in the former Celtic man has not faded and it’s claimed he could become a player of interest for Ashworth, especially given the €40m clause in his deal.

That said, comments made by the player about a potential move to Liverpool will not have gone down well with United supporters.

United are also said to be keen on their Argentina defensive midfielder Exequiel Palacios and another defender in Odilon Kossonou, who recently won the African Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast.

The article claims that Leverkusen’s willingness to sell any of the quartet is ‘low’ but suggests that United could piece together a financial package for any of those stars – and potentially all four – that would be impossible to resist for the Bundesliga title hopefuls.

Indeed, deals for all four players would reportedly set them back a staggering €180m (£154.2m) in total, in a potential move that would take up a vast portion of United’s summer budget.

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