Exclusive Fabrizio Romano column: Ten Hag’s Man Utd transfer meeting, “sensational” Real Madrid deal, and more

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Read on for the latest transfer news brought to you exclusively by Fabrizio Romano, who provides CaughtOffside with updates on Manchester United’s plans under Erik ten Hag, Kylian Mbappe’s future, a possible worry for Liverpool, plus clarity on the speculation about Erling Haaland.

Erik ten Hag holds Man United transfer meeting – here’s what was on the agenda

Erik ten Hag had a meeting with part of the Manchester United board last week, this is confirmed. It happened in Amsterdam, and now he’s planning to fly to England this week to begin internal discussions but Ralf Rangnick will be in charge for United’s last game vs Crystal Palace.

In the meeting, there was talk of players already in the club, potential new signings and contracts, but also the backroom staff which will include Mitchell van der Gaag as requested by ten Hag.

Manchester United want a decision from ten Hag soon over Eric Bailly, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and also Marcus Rashford, while Frenkie de Jong is certainly a name that has been discussed internally.

Frenkie de Jong is admired by Erik ten Hag

De Jong has been on Ten Hag’s list for some time. They worked well together at Ajax, and the manager loves Frenkie, but the player’s priority is to play Champions League football next season.

It won’t be easy for United either because Barcelona want at least €80-85m to sell De Jong, Xavi will do everything to keep him but it will depend on the financial situation of the club. We know there have been issues there recently, so that could mean further sales after Philippe Coutinho’s loan to Aston Villa was made permanent. We are still at the early stages, so keep an eye out.

Kylian Mbappe set for “sensational” Real Madrid transfer?

Real Madrid are extremely confident about signing Kylian Mbappe after new contacts with the player’s camp, awaiting his official answer in the coming days. Meanwhile, PSG are aware that they have done everything possible to keep their star player.

In my opinion, bringing in Kylian Mbappe on a free transfer at just 23 is something sensational. Certainly, in the best three transfers in recent football history. Real Madrid would finally have a true superstar to replace Cristiano Ronaldo.

Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid transfer looks to be on the cards

If Mbappe were to sign with Real Madrid, the decision on who could be his replacement would be taken with the manager of PSG 2022/2023.

And at the moment it’s not certain if it’s going be again Mauricio Pochettino, because the feeling around the club is that Pochettino has a good chance to leave PSG in the coming weeks.

We know the resources are there for a big name to come in in Mbappe’s place, but we’ll have to see what happens with the manager situation first.

What Robert Lewandowski’s future means for Sadio Mane

Barcelona have been working to sign Robert Lewandowski since February. The player is tempted by the possibility of playing in Spain.

It all started in the summer of 2021 because Paris Saint-Germain had contacted him but Bayern had not even wanted to negotiate a price. Lewandowski was waiting for a contract extension proposal that did not arrive for months, and so now he would like to leave Germany as soon as possible.

Barcelona want him as a priority and there have already been three direct contacts with his agent Pini Zahavi. In the next few days, Lewandowski will push again to leave Bayern, while the club wants to try to keep him until June 2023.

Robert Lewandowski could be on his way to Barcelona

This deal is not directly linked to Sadio Mane’s future – certainly Mane is on Bayern’s list and has been discussed with his agents, but it is considered a different position and therefore it can be important to understand Serge Gnabry’s future because there is still no agreement even for his contract.

For Mane there is not only Bayern, it’s not advanced yet: the Liverpool board will have a contact with his agents in the coming days to discuss the future of the Senegalese winger.

Don’t listen to false Erling Haaland claims – Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich all wanted him!

I can tell you that the reports circulating around Erling Haaland are false. The stories about Barcelona being unconvinced by his off the pitch lifestyle are not correct, just like Real Madrid have never had any doubts or concerns about Erling’s injuries.

The reality is that both clubs (and Bayern Munich too…) have tried in every way to convince Haaland to join them, but especially for Barca it was impossible due to the financial situation of the club.

But Barca manager Xavi, also in private, has tried to persuade Erling Haaland. There have never been doubts about his private life.

Erling Haaland has shone at Borussia Dortmund

Of course, Lewandowski has been the priority for Barcelona since late February – it was clear Haaland was no longer available as he was negotiating with Manchester City.

Barcelona are ready to offer Lewandowski exactly what he would like to receive: a three-year contract with a salary already discussed with his agent Pini Zahavi. But it all depends on Bayern now.

Raphinha to Barcelona transfer is not done…yet

There are still no advanced negotiations for Raphinha between Leeds and Barcelona because the Spanish club wants to respect Leeds in their relegation fight; but in reality, since March, Raphinha and his agent Deco are in very advanced talks with Barça on personal terms for a contract until June 2027.

Raphinha wants Barcelona, it’s his priority, but there is no definitive agreement between clubs so far. We’ll see if the €25m release clause can be activated or not, with Leeds still not safe in the Premier League.

Certainly English clubs like Newcastle have explored the Raphinha idea in recent months but they know that the player’s priority is now Barcelona.

Chelsea had been pushing for Raphinha as summer target since January, but sanctions have frozen negotiations and Barca are now leading the race.

More Stories Aaron Wan-Bissaka Eric Bailly Erik ten Hag Erling Haaland Fabrizio Romano Frenkie de Jong Kylian Mbappe Marcus Rashford Raphinha Robert Lewandowski Sadio Mane Xavi