Frustrated £80m Man Utd star to make January departure with Conte rescue plan tipped to see Tottenham seal signing

Carlos Tevez deal. Antonio Conte, Tottenham manager, is a huge fan of the Swede

A costly Manchester United star is being tipped to depart Old Trafford in the January transfer window after showcasing his talents at the World Cup – with Tottenham backed as the side likely to offer him a lifeline.

Red Devils manager Erik ten Hag has undergone a costly rebuilding process since taking charge after the squad he inherited slumped home in sixth last season. Indeed, six new names were brought in with four of them – Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez, Antony and Christian Eriksen – all becoming fixtures in the side.

The early signs for Ten Hag have been promising too. Wins over Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal have given big belief that Ten Hag can restore United back into the Champions League.

However, there remains some inconsistencies to iron out. As such, defeats to Brighton, Brentford and Aston Villa have tempered expectations. And the derby thrashing to Manchester City served a timely reminder that there remains a shortfall in quality.

With the January window opening for business in just 16 days, Ten Hag and Co can begin phase two of their team strengthening.

Quite how much money United will have at their disposal though remains to be seen.

The United manager still has a number of positions he wants to strengthen too. Top of his list of priorities is a new right-back, with a space likely to emerge with Aaron Wan-Bissaka departing. TEAMtalk exclusively revealed recently the two clubs battling to sign the £50m flop.

And it seems United are quickly piecing together their plans for a replacement. Indeed, Wednesday’s Euro Paper Talk claims United will back Ten Hag by going above and beyond to sign a dream replacement.

Beyond that, Ten Hag also wants to strengthen his attack. Their interest in Cody Gakpo is well documented, with Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure seemingly freeing up the space – and money – in the forward department.

United ready to sell Harry Maguire

However, funds at Old Trafford seemingly remain tight. The Red Devils are still feeling the pinch from the Covid-19 pandemic, while their over-budget £216m summer spend means there may be a lid on their January spending capacity.

Manchester United, of course, could look to free up some funds by cashing in on some of their unwanted stars. And one man who has had his nose put out of joint by their summer spending is Harry Maguire.

The United club captain has been usurped as first-choice defender by the summer signing of Martinez. Indeed, Ten Hag has prefered to partner the Argentine with Raphael Varane. The two United stars will go head to head for World Cup final glory on Sunday.

Maguire has had his chances to play, though, namely in the Europa League, but he’s struggled to recapture his very best form.

Indeed, after reminding the watching world what he is capable of when playing for England at the World Cup. However, Ally McCoist does not think he will wait around playing second fiddle at United for much longer.

Assessing where he will end up, the Scotsman has explained why he can see Tottenham as ideal candidates to sign him.

“I think he [Maguire] will move,” McCoist told talkSPORT. “I don’t think he may move, I’ll go one further – I think he will move.

“He isn’t going to hang around – he wants to play. I don’t think there are any guarantees that he’s going to march back into the Manchester United team, not in front of [Raphael] Varane and [Lisandro] Martinez.

“Straight away off the top of my head, I’d say he’s good enough for Spurs. Arsenal? Maybe not at this moment in time. But he’s been one of England’s best players at the World Cup.”

Spurs move could be making of Maguire

United paid a huge £80m fee to lure Maguire from Leicester back in summer 2019 and he has gone on to play 153 times for the club.

However, he has often found himself scapegoated for their struggles, with Roy Keane among those tearing into him.

Now out of the side, Ten Hag is adamant that Maguire can still have a key part to play.

But were Tottenham to make a concrete offer, it would be hard to see United turning them down.

Antonio Conte’s side prefer to play with three at back; a formation Maguire has shown he is comfortable in playing for England.

As such, a move elsewhere could be exactly what he needs to rediscover his mojo.

If McCoist is right and Maguire does end up leaving, he could choose few better places than Tottenham.

He could replace Eric Dier at the heart of Conte’s defence. And alongside Cristan Romero and potentially Clement Lenglet or Dier, the Spurs defence would look more formidable than ever.

Quite what United could sell the 29-year-old for remains to be seen. But a bid of around £40m would surely persuade United to cash in.

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