Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd transfer talk puts talented Brazil midfielder on high alert as Ratcliffe makes De Jong deal decision

Atalanta star Ederson has reacted to Manchester United rumours

Atalanta star Ederson has reacted to Manchester United rumours

Atalanta midfielder Ederson has opened up on claims he is a summer target for Manchester United and amid suggestions the Brazilian has moved ahead of the more costly Frenkie de Jong in Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s transfer thinking.

The Red Devils appear to have found their groove in recent weeks and are unbeaten so far in 2024, having last lost a game on December 30 at Nottingham Forest. That unbeaten seven-match run has helped the club into the FA Cup fifth round and, more crucially, closed the gap on fourth-placed Aston Villa to just five points – giving everyone at the club renewed belief they can claim a Champions League spot once again.

With United finding form on the pitch, there are also major changes being put in place off the field following Ratcliffe’s imminent £1.4bn investment into 25% of Manchester United.

As part of that arrangement, Ratcliffe will take on all sporting control at the Red Devils; a role that means he will oversee all transfer activity at Old Trafford, while also assembling the best possible backroom team to ensure his side land upon the very best targets.

With Omar Berrada already in place and poached from neighbours Manchester City, next on their hitlist is Dan Ashworth, who is likely to be named as the club’s first-ever sporting director having been lured away from Newcastle.

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Ashworth’s brief is likely to be simple. Identify and sign the best value-for-money and elite players for United to help re-establish the club among the pinnacle of English and European football.

And by multiple reports, the Red Devils are gearing up for a big summer of investment in their squad with at least four new signings sought.

Ederson opens up on Man Utd transfer rumours

As a result, Ratcliffe is likely to open up the purse strings for Ten Hag to bring in a new defender, a midfielder, a striker and, potentially, a winger, what with the futures of Jadon Sancho, Facundo Pellistri and Antony all under some doubt.

Arguably the most important signing will come in midfield, with United not quite finding the right balance this season and with summer loan signing Sofyan Amrabat likely to return to Fiorentina and with doubts emerging over the future of Casemiro.

As a result, De Jong has been touted as a summer target for United again amid claims Barcelona are willing to consider his sale.

However, with this article advising both Ten Hag and Ratcliffe not to pursue his signing for the second time in three summers, it seems the Red Devils have taken heed of that advice and are not in hot pursuit for other options, including AC Milan’s Tijjani Reijnders.

But another name they are persistently linked with is Atalanta midfielder Ederson, who has proved one of the best midfielders in Serie A this season.

The Brazilian has six goals and an assist from 30 appearances this season, with his performances also seeing him mentioned as a possible target for Tottenham.

Now the 24-year-old player has responded to those rumours, admitting he is enjoying his football this season.

“I think this time, because it was perhaps one of the best moments of my career, and being at Atalanta today, it really boosted me,” Ederson told Globo Esporte.

“It’s something players talk about a lot, but it’s something I really learned, to leave it to my agents and then pass it on to me.

Otherwise, you are creating unnecessary expectations.”

Atalanta name their price as De Jong decision is made

Ederson explained that he also prefers to deal with fact, rather than fiction.

“Many things begin to appear in the window and you don’t know what is true, what’s a lie, what could be happening. This is more of a hindrance than a help.

“So, I always leave it to them, the moment they say: ‘They’re interested, it’s official, it’s this, that’, then yes, I start to think. From the beginning, I said this isn’t the time. We are doing very well in the league, we are in the Coppa Italia semi-final.”

Asked again about rumours linking him to the likes of Barcelona, Tottenham and Manchester United, Ederson continued: “I don’t know how true it was. I never actually asked.

“If it were something very, very concrete, then the club would pass it on to us, because we have a good relationship with them.

“What I said was that I wanted to focus on this moment, because it’s a very important moment for the club, it’s being very good for me too.”

Per reports, Atalanta are seeking a fee of at least €40m to €45m (£34.2m to £38.5m) for the star – a price which could yet rise if Atalata enjoy a strong finish to the season.

However, that asking price is reportedly deemed by United’s board – and Ratcliffe in particular – as better value for money than De Jong, whom Barcelona are reportedly seeking €100m (£85.5m) for this summer.

That price appears beyond United’s capabilities and, while PSG are reportedly ready to test the waters with an initial €60m offer (rising to €80m) with add-ons, Ratcliffe seemingly believes the price is too high and United would be better off spending their cash on a lesser name.

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