Man United might land a top Erik ten Hag transfer target for free.
Manchester United may be given the opportunity to sign free agent Benjamin Pavard as Bayern Munich explain their stance on allowing the France international to go this summer. The Red Devils saw Pavard as a possible replacement for Harry Maguire, but that deal was called off after the England international’s move to West Ham fell through.
According to Sky Sports Germany, Pavard has discussed his future with Bayern CEO Jan-Christian Dreesden, after being courted by both Manchester United and Inter Milan. Previously, the club stated that he was a non-transferable player, but they have since modified their stance and are willing to sell, albeit at a premium.
The Bundesliga champions want more than £34 million excluding add-ons, but Inter have only offered £20 million and United have yet to make a proposal. Erik ten Hag’s side has been financially hampered as a result of the additions of Mason Mount, Rasmus Hojlund, and Andre Onana, as well as their continuing takeover process and Financial Fair Play worries. As a result, without big exits, a bid fitting Bayern’s expectations seems doubtful.
It remains to be seen whether Inter is willing to match Bayern’s increased asking price. If no reasonable offer is received, the German club’s executives are considering allowing Pavard leave on a free transfer when his contract expires in 2024. That means United may sign him without paying a price.
They would be able to negotiate with the 27-year-old in January about a free move, which would be a big coup if they were able to pull it off. If Maguire is willing to stay another year at Old Trafford, focusing their efforts on signing Pavard in 2024 may make financial sense.
Meanwhile, Bayern manager Thomas Tuchel has claimed that Pavard has not expressed a desire to leave the club. “Benji hasn’t communicated to me that he really wants to leave,” Tuchel stated during a press conference on Thursday. “As of now, no offer has been made.” He is our player and receives our complete backing. We’re dependent on him till that changes.”
Unless another club is willing to pay a minimum of £34 million, United could get Pavard on a free transfer next summer. His versatility to play at both right-back and centre-back will appeal to Erik ten Hag, who may be looking to bolster both positions.
In his first year at Old Trafford, the Dutch manager has been unable to settle on a first-choice between Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot and may buy Pavard or another player to fill that slot.
While Maguire may opt to leave the center of the defense as he continues to fall out of favor, Pavard might help alleviate both problems for free.