Manchester United have secured the terms they craved upon agreeing to sign Tottenham left-back Sergio Reguilon, and why a move for Chelsea defender Marc Cucurella was aborted has been explained.
The Red Devils began exploring the market for a new left-back once Luke Shaw was ruled out for up to two months with a muscle injury.
Fellow left-back Tyrell Malacia is also in the treatment room, leaving just the unproven Alvaro Fernandez as United’s only specialised left-back available for selection. Brandon Williams was previously an option, though joined Ipswich Town on loan earlier this week.
Reguilon and Cucurella emerged as the two likeliest candidates to solve Ten Hag’s mini-crisis in defence.
Cucurella reportedly okayed a move to Old Trafford and Chelsea too were open to doing business. However, a curious decision on Wednesday night resulted in Man Utd pulling the plug.
Indeed, Cucurella played his first match of the season in Chelsea’s EFL Cup second round victory over Wimbledon.
Players cannot play for three different clubs during a single season, meaning if he joined and then played for Man Utd, Chelsea would not be able to find a buyer in January.
In the Athletic’s words, ‘if United had wanted the option of sending him back to Chelsea in January, he would no longer have been eligible to exit and appear for a third club this season.’
Man Utd only require short-term cover while Shaw is sidelined and as such, insisted on including a break clause that would activate ahead of the winter window.
Chelsea rejected the demand in the knowledge they’d then be unable to find a club willing to either buy or loan Cucurella in January. Indeed, why would a club pounce if Cucurella is ineligible to play until next season.
As such, United fixed their gaze on Reguilon instead and Tottenham recently granted the Spaniard permission to undergo a medical with United.
Now, according to Fabrizio Romano, Reguilon’s loan switch to Man Utd has been verbally agreed.
Romano gave the move his signature “here we go” confirmation and also revealed a medical is taking place at the time of publication.
Reguilon’s loan will be for the full season, though Man Utd have successfully inserted a break clause into the agreement. It is that key clause that Chelsea refused that separated United’s moves for Cucurella and Reguilon.