Manchester United are expected to make a deal for River Plate midfielder Enzo Fernandez as they attempt to replace four stars who have left the club.
United already have one Fernandes in their ranks, as Bruno plays a more attacking role, but they are planning to double up on quality in the middle of the park, this time with a highly rated defensive alternative. United scouts witnessed the Argentine score in Wednesday’s 2-0 Copa Libertadores victory over Fortaleza.
With Erik ten Hag verbally agreeing to become United’s new manager, it might be one of the club’s first signings if he agrees to the move. However, with four midfielders due to go, adding Fernandez might be crucial as United attempt to restock their roster for the coming season.
United have been looking for a new defensive midfielder for some time, and with Nemanja Matic set to leave at the end of the season, they will need reinforcements. But he isn’t the only one; Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, and Juan Mata are also set to go.
The 21-year-old River Plate player will have a £20.6 million release clause this summer and is being tracked by Real Madrid and Manchester City, with United advised to act quickly. They will, though, want to get their midfield purchases right, and Fernandez isn’t the only name on their list.
United have also been connected with England’s Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips, but their Premier League opponents have warned them that such signings would be too expensive. West Ham manager David Moyes has already set a £150 million price tag for his star player Rice.
United has also been connected with Lazio player Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, although Champions League participation is likely to be required to entice any major names in Europe. United are heavy underdogs to make the top four after picking up just one point against Leicester and Everton, and their summer business could suffer as a result.
Of course, incoming manager Ten Hag would have preferred Champions League football, but failure to qualify for Europe’s best league could also play into his hands. To become United manager, the Dutchman has wanted a large say in all signings, and he will be expected to make the necessary moves to send the club back into the top four.
Donny van de Beek, a midfielder who has been an outcast since leaving Ajax in 2020, is one player who is going to be examined. Ten Hag was the man who sold him to United, and the two appear to be reuniting.