Report unearths Man Utd swap plan to offload disastrous Solskjaer signing, with new Leeds star involved
A report has detailed how Manchester United tried to get a disappointing signing off their books by completing a swap deal, only for the attempt to be pushed back and the player to go on and join Leeds United.
Man Utd have received plenty of criticism in recent years for their poor, and expensive, transfer policy. They have spent huge sums of money on the likes of Paul Pogba, Harry Maguire, Jadon Sancho and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Pogba left Old Trafford in summer 2022 as he ran down his contract and moved back to Juventus. Maguire remains Man Utd captain and manager Erik ten Hag is hopeful of getting him back to his best. Although, this probably won’t happen while Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez are performing so well.
Sancho and Wan-Bissaka struggled for form under previous coaches, which is why pundits came after them and also slammed the Red Devils for not making any players better.
Luckily for Man Utd, Ten Hag is gunning to improve each and every player at his disposal. Wan-Bissaka is enjoying more game time of late, while Sancho returned for Man Utd with a goal in the recent 2-2 draw with Leeds.
Under Ten Hag, the club’s transfers have worked well. Martinez is excelling in defence, while Casemiro has had a huge impact in midfield. Antony and Tyrell Malacia, admittedly, have not yet had the same impact. But they look set for bright futures.
Unfortunately, one previous Man Utd signing – from the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era – Ten Hag has not been able to work wonders on is midfielder Donny van de Beek. The Dutchman would have been hoping to turn his Man Utd career around under compatriot Ten Hag.
But he has only made 10 appearances for Man Utd this term, down to competition for places and injury problems.
Source outlines failed Man Utd swap transfer
Now, a report from Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport has provided some insight on how Man Utd tried to get Van De Beek off their books in 2021, before Ten Hag’s arrival in Manchester.
It claims Man Utd chiefs were in contact with Juventus over a swap deal involving Weston McKennie. But Juve soon pushed back their advances, saying they only wanted money for the USA star.
And Man Utd were quoted a large price to sign McKennie permanently. While Juve had only paid €18.5m for him, they told Man Utd it would take a whopping €50m for them to sell.
As would be expected, Man Utd did not want to pay €50m for the former Schalke man. They soon revoked their interest in him.
Van De Beek did go on to join Everton on loan in January last year. But he failed to make a significant impact at Goodison Park. And he is now facing a tough battle to get Man Utd game time once he returns to full fitness.
McKennie, meanwhile, joined Leeds from Juve in the January window. He has linked up with the Whites on loan and they have the option to buy him at the end of the campaign for £28.9m.
Elsewhere, TEAMtalk understands Man Utd are poised to battle Arsenal and Chelsea for the signing of an Inter Milan player.