Liverpool and Chelsea have thundered into the race to sign a long-time Manchester United target, though even they could be usurped by Real Madrid, per a report.
The Red Devils were persistently linked with signing an attacking upgrade at right-back once Erik ten Hag took charge. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is unparalleled in the position from a defensive standpoint, though offers very little going forwards.
Diogo Dalot is also in situ, though neither he or Wan-Bissaka have staked their claim to being Ten Hag’s undisputed No 1 in the position.
Rewind the clock back to Ten Hag’s first window in charge and United sized up Dutch pair Denzel Dumfries and Jeremie Frimpong.
Both operate as wing-backs or extremely attacking right-backs if playing in a back four. A Man Utd move for either player did not come to pass, though Ten Hag’s admiration of both has sustained.
Indeed, TEAMtalk confirmed in October that Ten Hag is still pushing Man Utd to sign Frimpong in particular. The 22-year-old plies his trade for Bayer Leverkusen where he signed a new contract on October 3.
Frimpong has been nothing short of sensational for Xabi Alonso’s side this season. The Dutchman has notched five goals and seven assists from deep and helped Leverkusen to win 16 of 17 matches across all competitions.
With Sir Jim Ratcliffe primed to buy a 25 percent stake in Man Utd, The Sun claimed a squad ‘reset’ is coming.
Exits will be the order of the day in January ahead of attacking the summer window. It’s then that Man Utd would be expected to make Ten Hag’s dream come true by landing Frimpong.
However, according to a stunning report cited by The Liverpool Echo, Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid have all entered the frame.
Liverpool, Chelsea make Frimpong a ‘priority’
Liverpool continue to lack viable competition for Trent Alexander-Arnold. Frimpong would challenge the Reds ace and ensure Jurgen Klopp’s side don’t suffer offensively when Alexander-Arnold misses out.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have Reece James and Malo Gusto on their books. However, James continues to struggle with injury and talk of Real Madrid making a move in 2024 refuses to go away.
The report acknowledges Real are desperate to secure a successor to 31-year-old Dani Carvajal at right-back. Per the piece, the shadow of Real Madrid hangs over Frimpong.
What’s more, according to the report, bringing Frimpong to The Bernabeu would be a requirement Xabi Alonso wants ticked off before succeeding Carlo Ancelotti in the dugout.
Whether Ancelotti will remain Real manager beyond the current campaign is still uncertain. Ancelotti’s contract is up in the summer, though there is speculation he’s in discussions over a new two-year deal.
But if the Italian leaves, Alonso is widely regarded as the favourite to take the reins.
Per the report, Alonso will ask Real to sign Frimpong before accepting the call to replace Ancelotti. However, it won’t be quite that straightforward for Real and the English sides could flex their financial muscles.
Real reportedly don’t wish to pay more than the €35m (approx. £30.5m) they valued Frimpong at last summer.
Conversely, TEAMtalk has been told Leverkusen value the defender at a much loftier £60m. Given Frimpong is tied down until 2028, Leverkusen’s bargaining position is strong.
As such, Real may ultimately leave the door ajar for Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool to swoop. But unlike in 2022, Ten Hag’s side will no longer be the only bidder from England.