Man Utd have received a huge lift in their quest to sign Kylian Mbappe after PSG moved to acquire a £113m replacement who coincidentally, is also on the Red Devils’ radar, per reports.
With Cristiano Ronaldo now officially a free agent, attention has turned to who Manchester United will sign to replace his firepower.
The common consensus had been United would wait until next summer before making their move. However, per Fabrizio Romano, their plans have been brought forward to January.
The mid-season World Cup has ensured the domestic fixture lists are more condensed than ever, both before and after proceedings in Qatar.
Erik ten Hag can well do without a shortage of options up front and it appears United will ensure that doesn’t transpire as they push for Champions League qualification.
PSV Eindhoven’s Cody Gakpo appears the most gettable target of those persistently linked. A January swoop has seen its chances boosted by the fact PSV failed to secure the riches of qualifying for the UCL group stages.
However, even higher profile targets have been touted for a switch to Old Trafford in 2023, such as Napoli’s Victor Osimhen and PSG’s Mbappe.
Signing the latter would be the ultimate statement of intent from United. Mbappe can rightfully stake a claim to being the world’s best player at present with Ronaldo and Lionel Messi both on the wane.
Mbappe operates at just below the goal-per-game mark each and every year at PSG. He’s also France’s talisman and much of that nation’s hope in Qatar rests on his shoulders.
Man Utd exploring January move for Mbappe
The Mirror reported United will explore the possibility of signing Mbappe in January. A £150m transfer fee was cited, a figure that would break the record for both United and the Premier League’s most expensive ever signing.
Mbappe’s current deal in Paris isn’t due to expire until 2025. However, the Daily Mail are among a host of outlets to report Mbappe can walk away from the contract one year early in 2024 due to a break clause.
With that in mind, French outlet Le10Sport report PSG are already beginning to line up replacements and have Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix in their sights.
The Portuguese, 23, is at the end of his tether at Atletico Madrid and his relationship with manager Diego Simeone has completely broken down.
Felix is looking for a way out and what’s more, Atletico’s financial situation dictates they must sell anyway. Their inability to qualify for the UCL knockout rounds has devastated their financial outlook and it’s stated Atletico must sell a high profile player in January ‘no matter what’.
Felix was a £113m signing from Benfica way back in 2019. He’s unlikely to cost that now, though Atletico will obviously push for as much as they can get.
Felix was a target for United prior to his move to Spain in 2019. He’s also been linked with the club more recently, though it’s PSG who are acting on their interest.
Felix is PSG chief’s transfer ‘priority’
PSG’s transfer adviser, Luis Campos, is understood to have made Felix his ‘priority’ in the winter window.
If he were able to make that deal, PSG’s resolve over retaining Mbappe – who has previously spoken out about perceived mistreatment by the club – would lessen to a degree.
Whether United would be able to sign Mbappe mid-season is obviously uncertain. Doing so would mean Mbappe gives up a Champions League campaign in which PSG are one of the favourites.
A summer move appears more likely, though if PSG do land a direct replacement in Felix, the foundations would be laid for someone to sign Mbappe.
If Ten Hag can guide United into the top four, there’s no reason why it can’t be the Red Devils, especially if they have ambitious new owners at that time.