Manchester United

Manchester United

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Sabitzer alternative snubbed Ten Hag reunion at Man Utd and ‘offered to play for free’ at dream club

Morocco midfielder Sofyan Amrabat

Fiorentina midfielder Sofyan Amrabat in action for Morocco

A Marcel Sabitzer alternative rejected Chelsea as well as the chance to link back up with Erik ten Hag at Man Utd in favour of offering to play for free at another club, per one journalist.

The Red Devils were content to sanction just a trio of loan signings in January. Jack Butland and Wout Weghorst replaced the recalled Martin Dubravka and the axed Cristiano Ronaldo respectively.

Marcel Sabitzer was a deadline day arrival from Bayern Munich, though the Austrian’s move only took shape once Christian Eriksen was ruled out for up to three months with an ankle injury.

The Independent and Sky Sports both reported Ten Hag favoured a reunion with Ryan Gravenberch ahead of landing Sabitzer. Both outlets subsequently revealed why that move did not come to pass.

However, it’s now emerged Man Utd had another iron in the fire in the form of Fiorentina’s Sofyan Amrabat.

The 26-year-old rose to prominence through a series of dominant displays in the engine room for Morocco at the World Cup.

He was heavily linked with both Chelsea and Liverpool in the winter window, and per Fabrizio Romano, Barcelona too.

Indeed, the transfer guru reported Barca offered a €3m loan fee in a deal that would also contain a €37m option to buy.

However, Fiorentina rejected the proposal, instead preferring an outright sale if Amrabat were to depart. Barca’s financial strife meant they could only afford a loan in January.

Man Utd powerless to lure Amrabat

But according to journalist Achraf Ben Ayad – who works for Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo – Man Utd too lodged an offer to sign Amrabat in the winter window.

The journalist – who boasts 3.4m twitter followers – stated: “Amrabat offered to play for [Barcelona] for free this season.

“He offered Fiorentina the salary that he was going to receive from Barça to be able to go on loan.

“His agent also had offers from Chelsea and Man Utd (Ten Hag has known Sofian from Utrecht), but the player only wanted Barça.”

Amrabat played under Ten Hag during their shared stint together at Dutch side Utrecht between 2015-17.

However, the lure of reuniting with his former manager seemingly did not appeal to Amrabat who only had eyes for Barcelona.

Ultimately, a move to the Camp Nou did not materialise and Amrabat stayed put in Florence. With Amrabat off the table, United then moved for Marcel Sabitzer on loan instead.

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