Man Utd star’s escape route to London opens up after club chairman puts Ten Hag on the spot

Man Utd stars Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Jadon Sancho

The comments of Crystal Palace chairman, Steve Parish, have added to the speculation a Man Utd star could be on the move to the capital next month.

The position of right-back could see something of an overhaul at Old Trafford next month. Fabrizio Romano reported Man Utd have three separate deals in mind last week.

Firstly, they planned to trigger the one-year option in Diogo Dalot’s contract. That has since been accomplished, though United now intend to offer the Portuguese a longer-term deal to better reflect his growing influence.

The second and third steps hinged on Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Romano reported United could move Wan-Bissaka on in January and if they did, only then would a direct replacement be signed.

However, Wan-Bissaka produced a fine display in Man Utd’s EFL Cup victory over Burnley on Wednesday night.

The 25-year-old was typically solid in defence, but caught the eye in the final third when producing an acrobatic assist for Christian Eriksen’s opener.

Ten Hag performs U-turn?

Erik ten Hag later stressed it’s “clear” the ex-Crystal Palace full-back has a future in Manchester.

“It’s clear he has a future,” Ten Hag said. “He had some good years, but this season from the start he had a lot of illnesses and injuries.

“His fitness levels are getting better, his performance levels are getting better and the assist, especially the way he gave the assist, in the right moment and timing, I’m happy with his performance.”

Whether that one display is enough to earn a stay of execution is unknown. However, a loan exit could kill two birds with one stone.

In that scenario, Wan-Bissaka would get the vital minutes he craves, while United would not be losing a Premier League-proven player on a permanent basis.

They would be short on cover for Dalot at right-back unless a new addition were made. However, there’s little sense in signing a Wan-Bissaka replacement if he’ll return after a six-month loan.

Clearly, the loan route is something United must carefully consider if those types of approaches are made. West Ham and Crystal Palace have both been heavily linked with Wan-Bissaka, and Palace’s chairman recently confirmed his club will prioritise loan deals next month.

“The January window is hard,” said Parish (via Sky Sports). “There are one or two things we would like to do, probably more loans than buys.

“We would really look to the summer to do anything major. We have a good squad, I think the players are very good, and I think we have a good points tally.

“In January, it’s quite nice to freshen things up a bit if we can, look at some places we feel we can improve with the manager, so we are looking at situations there.

“I wouldn’t completely write off anybody, but post the World Cup it is quite a dangerous market.

“That doesn’t say no. We have a few areas we would like to improve on, and if we can do it we will do it.”

Vieira on Zaha future

Elsewhere, manager Patrick Vieira insisted Palace aim to tie talismanic forward Wilfried Zaha down to a new contract, though warned the decision will ultimately be the player’s.

Zaha is out of contract in the summer and despite being 30, will have no shortage of suitors willing to take a punt.

“I think Wilfried knows the position of the club and the decision is going to be his – and when he is ready, we will listen to what he has to say,” said Vieira (via BBC Sport).

“But I think everybody knows we want him to stay at our football club, we want to grow with Wilfried as one of our leaders and the decision has to be his.

“However, the only focus at the moment is the way he’s been training and how he’s preparing himself to compete and help the team to perform.”

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