Erik ten Hag claimed it’s “clear” an exit-linked Man Utd star has a future at Old Trafford, putting both his departure and a move for a direct replacement in serious doubt.
Three positions could be addressed at Manchester United in January. Goalkeeper, right-back and centre-forward are all coming under the microscope, with today’s update concerning right-back.
Fabrizio Romano previously reported United were planning something of a mini-overhaul in the position.
The transfer guru claimed Diogo Dalot will be handed a new contract, and United have since triggered the one-year extension within his deal. The current plan is for the Portuguese to now be offered a longer-term and more lucrative contract that better reflects his growing influence.
Elsewhere, Romano claimed Aaron Wan-Bissaka could be moved on in January and once departed, a direct replacement would be signed.
A vast array of Premier League sides have queued up to sign Wan-Bissaka whose lack of offensive output is believed to be a sore spot with Ten Hag.
West Ham were the latest team to be linked and joined Crystal Palace, Wolves and more tentatively, Leeds and Fulham.
However, Wan-Bissaka was given the nod to start United’s League Cup clash with Burnley on Wednesday night.
The 25-year-old was typically solid in his own half, though also made a big impact in the opposition’s.
Wan-Bissaka got forward well and produced a spectacular assist for Christian Eriksen’s opener when expertly and acrobatically hooking a pass across the face of goal. Eriksen duly tucked away the cut-back and United did not look back from there.
It was Wan-Bissaka’s first assist since the 2020-21 campaign and speaking post-match, manager Ten Hag appeared to perform a U-turn on his defender.
“Clear” Wan-Bissaka has a future at Man Utd – Ten Hag
“It’s clear he has a future,” Ten Hag said (via ESPN). “He had some good years, but this season from the start he had a lot of illnesses and injuries.
“His fitness levels are getting better, his performance levels are getting better and the assist, especially the way he gave the assist, in the right moment and timing, I’m happy with his performance.”
Clearly, Ten Hag is thrilled at what he saw and it would appear Wan-Bissaka has utilised the six-week World Cup break well.
Of course, Ten Hag could simply be talking up his right-back to strengthen United’s stance in any exit negotiations. A club can always command more lucrative terms if giving off the impression they don’t want to sell.
However, if taken at face value and Ten Hag now believes Wan-Bissaka can contribute once again, United would have no need to sign a new right-back in January.