Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ten Hag ‘obsessed’ with signing £47.2m schemer that’ll plunge Man Utd superstar into real jeopardy

AC Milan playmaker Brahim Diaz

Man Utd have ‘held initial talks’ over the signing of a Spanish playmaker Erik ten Hag is ‘obsessed’ with, and a potential arrival could spell trouble for one regular starter, per reports.

Manchester United’s first window with Ten Hag at the helm was an enthralling one. While their Frenkie de Jong pursuit ended in defeat, United quickly put that disappointment to bed and signed Casemiro instead as the clock wound down.

He – along with Lisandro Martinez and Christian Eriksen – have been the stand-outs from United’s six summer recruits so far. The others were Tyrell Malacia, Antony and goalkeeper Martin Dubravka on loan.

Eriksen arrived as a free agent and was expected to compete with Bruno Fernandes in the No 10 role.

However, as was the case at Brentford, the classy Dane was deployed further back in the double pivot role.

That’s ensured Fernandes has free reign to start at will behind the lone striker. However, according to a report in Spain, his starting role could soon come under threat.

Man Utd want ex-Man City schemer

Via the Manchester Evening News, it’s reported Man Utd are interested in signing Brahim Diaz.

The 23-year-old Spanish international can operate on the flanks, though most frequently plays in an advanced central role.

If signed, he’d be in direct competition with Fernandes and the Spanish report claims Brahim would be given a ‘very important role’ and would be a ‘regular starter’.

Brahim is currently on loan at AC Milan from Real Madrid. He was initially sent to the San Siro on a one-year loan in 2020. However, after the move proved a success, a new, two-year loan was sanctioned in the summer of 2021.

The current campaign is therefore the last he’ll spend with Milan and Real Madrid plan to reintegrate him back into their first-team squad when the loan expires.

But that’s where Manchester United come in, with Erik ten Hag stated to be ‘obsessed’ with signing the former Man City star.

The Dutchman hopes to convince Brahim to return to the Premier League and will reportedly bank on the promise of regular game-time.

Brahim was left unhappy during the 2018-19 and 2019-20 campaigns at the Bernabeu after barely getting a look in under Zinedine Zidane.

If current Real boss, Carlo Ancelotti, cannot convince Brahim his situation will be different in 2023 and beyond, he will reportedly consider a move elsewhere.

A €55m (approx. £47.2m) valuation is cited within both articles.

Is Bruno Fernandes really under threat?

The Spanish outlet in question aren’t known for being the most reliable of sources for transfer news, though they do present a convincing case for United’s interest.

Brahim has four goals and one assist to his name in 10 Serie A appearances for Milan this season. He made 31 league appearances the season prior when Milan went on to be crowned champions of Italy.

At 23, Brahim could be viewed as the long-term successor to the 28-year-old Fernandes. However, there is no suggestion Fernandes will slow down any time soon.

While his goals and assists output have dipped compared to a remarkable first 18 months at United, manager Ten Hag is more than satisfied with what he’s seen.

Indeed, the Dutchman recently hailed some of Fernandes’ lesser publicised traits, including his leadership abilities and his “magnificent” work in defensive transitions.

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