Tottenham Hotspur will now face fierce competition from Manchester United for Marc Guehi, as Erik ten Hag has reportedly decided on the Crystal Palace star as his ideal January signing.
Guehi came through the Chelsea academy but only made two first-team appearances for the Blues before leaving Stamford Bridge. Despite shining while on loan with Swansea City, the centre-back was left frustrated when Chelsea failed to offer him much game time at senior level. Therefore, he joined Palace in an £18million deal in July 2021.
The transfer has come back to bite Chelsea, as while Todd Boehly has spent big money on the likes of Wesley Fofana, Axel Disasi and Benoit Badiashile to improve his team’s backline, Guehi has emerged into one of the most assured defenders in England.
The 23-year-old has formed a solid centre-half partnership with Joachim Andersen, while his exceptional leadership has also seen him captain Palace.
However, the Eagles will soon have to deal with approaches for Guehi’s services. On November 23, it emerged that Tottenham have identified him as a prime target to help replace the injured Micky van de Ven. Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite and Sebastian Caceres of Club America are also in Ange Postecoglou’s sights.
But Tottenham will not be the only team to begin talks for Guehi this winter, as Football Insider report that Man Utd are poised to do the same.
Ten Hag has landed on the impressive defender as his ‘number one target’ for the January window.
Man Utd are keeping close tabs on his situation, as well as doing the necessary ‘background checks’ before launching an offer.
Man Utd, Tottenham both want Crystal Palace star
Palace have provisionally set Guehi’s price tag at £60m. But he could end up moving for more than that fee if Man Utd and Spurs get into a bidding war.
Should both teams have bids accepted, then the England international may lean towards a Man Utd switch, given his close ties to Spurs’ London rivals Chelsea.
While Ten Hag already has Lisandro Martinez, Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof and Jonny Evans in his squad, it would make complete sense if Man Utd moved to bring Guehi in.
Martinez is out of action until the new year after having to undergo yet more surgery on a recurring foot issue, while Varane could force through a transfer away from Old Trafford in January after losing his starting spot to Maguire. Thomas Tuchel is reportedly proposing a huge swap deal involving Bayern attacker Thomas Muller and Varane, too.
Evans, meanwhile, was only offered a one-year contract to return to Man Utd in the summer as he is 35 and in the latter part of his career.
Guehi would be able to add more stability to the Man Utd defence, as he could form a reliable partnership with Martinez once the latter returns from injury.
The Ivory Coast-born star would also help Man Utd play out from the back more, as he is better on the ball than Maguire. Overall, his arrival could help Man Utd re-establish themselves as regular challengers for the Premier League title, as defence has been a problem area for them for some time.
Guehi’s next move is yet to be decided, but it is clear that Man Utd and Spurs will both push hard to land him as soon as the winter window opens.