Erik ten Hag has held a secret meeting with the agent of a high profile forward who could join Man Utd for nothing in the summer, per a report.
The Red Devils were forced into exploring the loan market this month amid a severely restricted transfer budget. That ensured they were unable to act on their interest in Cody Gakpo.
Atletico’s high demands for Joao Felix also priced Manchester United out of a move, though they found greater joy when Wout Weghorst came into view.
United intend to keep their powder dry this month ahead of launching another assault in the summer window. However, James Ducker of the Telegraph did recently report it may be a case of one out, one in for Ten Hag.
As such, the Dutchman may have to explore a handful of cheaper deals to avert spreading his resources too wide.
One surprise player who’d fit that bill is, remarkably, Marco Reus.
The Borussia Dortmund icon, now 33, is one of the finest talents German football has produced this century.
Reus has been with Dortmund since 2012 and has a whopping 158 goals and 118 assists in 368 appearances in black and yellow. However, according to Bild reporter Christian Falk, his Dortmund career could be about to conclude.
The 48-times capped Germany international is out of contract at season’s end and has been linked with a lucrative move to the Middle East.
However, writing for Caught Offside, Falk backed Man Utd to spring the ultimate surprise and bring the clinical forward to England.
Man Utd ‘serious’ about Reus; Ten Hag interested
Falk revealed United boss Ten Hag recently held a behind closed doors meeting with Reus’ agent, Dirk Hebel.
United’s interest was termed ‘serious’, though Falk acknowledged there’s nothing in place as yet.
“Manchester United is an option for Marco Reus,” wrote Falk. “I heard there was a meeting between his agent, Dirk Hebel, and Erik ten Hag; they talked about Reus and Erik seemed to be interested.
“They have to see what happens in the summer but he’s an option as a potential free agent.
“Erik is familiar with Marco’s quality, so this will be serious. No decision yet, of course.
“I heard also that Hebel had talks with Manchester City – these weren’t particularly concrete, as City feel the player is too old.
“Secondly, Hebel then travelled to London, so I wouldn’t be surprised to hear of any links in future between Reus and clubs based in the English capital.”
Given Reus has entered the final six months of his career, he’s now able to sign a pre-contract agreement with overseas clubs.
United could look to forge a deal this month ahead of a summer arrival. Alternatively, they can simply wait until season’s end before beginning negotiations at that time.
The latter approach may be prudent given Reus does have an extremely chequered past with injuries.
Marco Reus move not without sizeable risk
Indeed, he’s missed six league matches this season through various ankle ailments. In prior seasons, he’s been limited to just 17 games in the 2016-17 campaign, 11 games in the 2017-18 season and 19 games in the 2019-20 campaign.
He’ll turn 34 on May 31 and United appeared to have moved away from these types of high profile yet risky moves for stars in the autumn of their careers.
Nonetheless, Reus remains a deadly player when fit and if Ten Hag is keen, United may feel justified in pushing the boat out once more.
Virtually everything the Dutch boss has touched has turned to gold thus far.