Man Utd emerge as favourites to re-sign former defender

Oli Fisher
Michael Keane: Linked with United return

Michael Keane: Linked with United return

Manchester United are favourites to re-sign Burnley’s Michael Keane – just two seasons after departing the club for Burnley.

The central defender was sent on loan to Turf Moor in August 2014 whilst Louis van Gaal was at the helm, but after impressing, the move was made permanent in January 2015.

Keane has played a pivotal role in the clubs life back in the Premier League, and as a result, the youngster has been rewarded with his second England call-up in as many months.

Leicester saw a £15million bid for the player rejected earlier this year, while the player has also emerged as a £25million target for Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, who is reportedly keen to bring in more British talent.

However, SkyBet make the 23-year-old just 5/1 to make a return to Old Trafford, making United favourites ahead of league leaders Liverpool who are 10/1 to sign Keane.

Last month it was claimed that United were left “deeply embarrassed” by the sale of Keane for just £2.5million given the success that the player has since gone on to enjoy.

The Red Devils have struggled with injuries this season, especially at the back with Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia all spending significant time on the sidelines.

Jose Mourinho had to field a make-shift back four during Sunday’s 3-1 win at Swansea City with Ashley Young, Matteo Darmian, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo starting the game.

The England international has also had loan spells at Leicester City, Derby County and Blackburn Rovers, but only made a total of five appearances during his time in Manchester.

The Stockport-born defender will be hoping to be involved with the national side on Friday night as England get ready for their World Cup qualifier against Scotland.

Speaking during Tuesday’s pre-match press conference, Keane said: “It’s a massive fixture. It’s a big game for bragging rights for the players as well as the fans. We’ll be right up for it and can’t wait for the game.”