‘Official’ bids expected, but marquee Man Utd signing hinges on major exit

Luke Thomas, Youri Tielemand and James Maddison celebrating for Leicester

Man Utd have been namechecked alongside Real Madrid and Barcelona as teams looking to land a Leicester ace in 2022, per a reliable source.

Man Utd enjoyed one of their greatest transfer windows in recent memory this summer. Raphael Varane was drafted in to provide a world class partner to Harry Maguire, while the club’s year-long pursuit of Jadon Sancho finally crossed the line.

But it was the re-signing of Cristiano Ronaldo that has brought fans to fever pitch. The Portuguese icon is expected to make his second debut on Saturday when Man Utd host Newcastle at Old Trafford.

Nevertheless, one area of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad that did not experience change is central midfield despite many pundits believing it to be their weak link.

Roy Keane lambasted Fred after his dismal display against Southampton this season. After another sub-par outing versus Wolves, Keane declared the club’s weak midfield is where he believes Man Utd’s title challenge will fall down.

One player who would remedy their midfield softness is Leicester talisman, Youri Tielemans.

The Belgian, 24, continues to take his game to new heights under the guidance of Brendan Rodgers. His superb FA Cup-winning strike against Chelsea capped off another outstanding season last year.

His efforts were duly rewarded when crowned both Leicester’s Player of the Season and the Players’ Player of the season.

Tielemans had attracted faint interest from Liverpool as they sought a Georginio Wijnaldum replacement. But according to trusted source Fabrizio Romano, Man Utd are weighing up a 2022 raid.

The Italian namechecked Man Utd along with Real Madrid and Barcelona as those considering summer swoops next year. Tielemans has entered the final two years of his contract and predictably, Leicester are determined to extend his stay.

But if an agreement cannot be reached, The Foxes may seek to cash in to avoid losing him for free a year later.

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Romano predicted a hotly-contested transfer scrap in 10 months’ time, describing Tielemans’ future as “one to watch.”

Romano noted that a Man Utd approach could hinge on the future of Paul Pogba. The French maverick is yet to pen fresh terms and is in the final year of his Old Trafford deal.

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Barcelona president dismisses mooted Man Utd raid

Meanwhile, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has responded to the speculation that linked Man Utd with a gargantuan bid for Ansu Fati this summer.

Barcelona spent the vast majority of their summer desperately trying to wrest their enormous wage bill under control. The club’s debt topped £1 billion and continued to rise with each passing week. As a result, the LaLiga powerhouse were forced into several moves in the window they did not wish to make.

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However, one potential deal mooted throughout the summer that did not materialise surrounded Spanish wonderkid, Ansu Fati. The 18-year-old has since assumed Messi’s No. 10 shirt, indicating how highly he is thought of at the Camp Nou.

But given his incredible potential, reports swirled during the window of a blockbuster €150m move to Man Utd. Barcelona’s financial woes would have been eased significantly had such a deal come to fruition.

Nonetheless, current Barca president Laporta has now responded to the Fati rumours, insisting a summer sale was never on the agenda.

“We never put him up for sale,” Laporta told Spanish outlet Cadena SER (via the Manchester Evening News). “Another thing is that it appeared in a newspaper that an English club was going to make an offer.

“This offer never came. Ansu was brave because he accepted the ’10’, but he only accepted it if the captains gave him the green light.”

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