Man Utd have been blasted by a prominent journalist who revealed the club’s failed attempt to hijack a Timo Werner move and their unwillingness to back Erik ten Hag over a winger he knows well.
Werner, 26, recently put pen to paper on a return to RB Leipzig. The ex-Chelsea striker failed to make the grade at Stamford Bridge and was duly snapped up by his former club for a fee that could reach £25m.
However, according to the Manchester Evening News, Werner’s destination could’ve been so very different.
They report Manchester United made an ’11th-hour attempt’ to hijack Leipzig’s deal for Werner.
Obviously, the move failed, something the piece’s author, Samuel Luckhurst, described as an “embarrassment” and the latest setback in United’s “shambolic” transfer window.
United have brought three first-team players on board in the form of Tyrell Malacia, Lisandro Martinez and Christian Eriksen.
However, their pursuit of Frenkie de Jong has now spanned more than 13 weeks. What’s more, they have failed to sign a versatile forward – something they’ve been chasing since the start of the window.
Marko Arnautovic was the latest to fall by the wayside after United pulled the plug on their pursuit. The reasons why can be found here.
Ajax winger Antony remains a high priority, though a whopping €80m price tag is likely to stop any move in its tracks.
That could pave the way for a Cody Gakpo approach. However, that move is unlikely to ramp up until PSV Eindhoven’s Champions League fate is determined.
Man Utd refuse to pursue Ten Hag target
The MEN report one target Erik ten Hag is keen on signing is Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech.
The Blues are open to offloading the 29-year-old Moroccan who played the best football of his career under Ten Hag at Ajax.
However, the report adds Ten Hag is ‘being met with resistance’ in his pursuit of the player.
Ten Hag views Ziyech as an ideal alternative to Antony. United have backed their manager and chased the bulk of targets he’s put forward, though they’ve made an ‘exception’ for Ziyech.
Precisely why isn’t stated. Age could be one factor, though Arnautovic is 33 and United bid for the Bologna frontman.
Ziyech deal could slip through Ten Hag’s fingers
The Moroccan is not without his suitors. Indeed, Serie A champions AC Milan are sizing up a deal.
Milan want a loan move with an option to buy, though Chelsea would prefer an obligation.
However, the latest from Italy suggested the winger is now prepared to take a wage cut in order to make the move happen.
Clearly, the issue of salary isn’t one of the reasons why Man Utd won’t pursue a move either.