Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Unlucky Ten Hag transfer fail revealed after details of botched Man Utd pursuit emerge

Fulham winger Willian, Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice

Details of Erik ten Hag's failed attempt to sign Willian last summer have emerged

Erik ten Hag personally held talks with Fulham winger Willian last summer, and details of how the surprise swoop was cut off at the knees by Manchester United have emerged. 

Willian is best known in England for his seven-year stint at Chelsea. However, a brief spell back in Brazil with Corinthians aside, Willian’s later career has been spent with other London clubs.

The 35-year-old flopped at Arsenal before proving he wasn’t a spent force since joining Marco Silva’s Fulham.

Willian signed a one-year deal with the Cottagers ahead of the 2022/23 campaign and notched five goals in 27 appearances to help fire Fulham to a respectable 10th-placed finish.

Willian’s contract expired last summer and after a brief period unattached, reached an agreement to re-sign with the Cottagers on a one-year deal with a club option for an extra season.

However, according to a report from PremierLeagueBrasil, Willian’s future could so easily have laid at Old Trafford.

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Ten Hag chase curtailed by Man Utd

They state that during the month or so where Willian was without a club, Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag made a play to bring him to the north west.

In fact, it’s claimed Ten Hag personally took charge of the operation and engaged in ‘long conversations’ with the Brazilian.

However, it’s then revealed that the free agent swoop was put on the backburner by Man Utd who instead preferred to iron out their other, arguably more important moves in the market.

For context, big-money deals for Andre Onana and Rasmus Hojlund both took longer than expected to cross the line as United’s summer window limped along.

The end result saw Ten Hag make Willian aware signing with Man Utd might have to wait until the back end of the window.

Rather than take that risk, William instead opted for the sure thing and re-signed with Fulham who had already placed an official offer on the table.

While the prospect of signing a free agent winger in his mid 30s isn’t exactly a sexy one, it’s important to note Willian continues to earn rave reviews for his ageless displays at Craven Cottage.

Furthermore, Alejandro Garnacho aside, the wing positions have proved troublesome for Erik ten Hag this term.

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Mason Greenwood and Jadon Sancho were both loaned out. Marcus Rashford is way down on the output he produced last term, while Antony is yet to register a single goal or assist in the Premier League this season.

Willian could have added experience and class to the wide positions at United, though ultimately it wasn’t to be.

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