Manchester United are in desperate need of at least one new senior midfielder this summer.
The Red Devils will lose four first-team midfielders this month with Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic all opting against renewing their contracts.
Following an unintentional squad clear-out, new manager Erik Ten Hag is believed to be targeting a new central midfielder as a matter of priority and the player most linked so far has been Barcelona playmaker Frenkie De Jong.
According to a recent report from leading transfer expert and CaughtOffside columnist Fabrizio Romano, the Red Devils have opened direct talks with the Catalan giants over a possible £72m (€85m) move.
Manchester United have opened direct talks with Barça for Frenkie de Jong. Price tag around €85m, waiting for opening bid. ? #MUFC
De Jong is still not convinced to leave Barça and he wants UCL football – Man Utd will try to push again as Barça need to solve financial issues. pic.twitter.com/jT18D37sPK
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 1, 2022
However, with question marks over whether or not De Jong would join a team not competing in the Champions League, the 20-time league winners may be forced to consider possible alternatives, and one player who has always been high on the club’s agenda is Borussia Dortmund and England midfielder Jude Bellingham.
That’s according to a recent report from The Athletic, who says that despite missing out on signing the teenage sensation two summers ago, Bellingham ‘remains top of United’s wishlist’.
It is unlikely the Red Devils would be able to sign Bellingham this summer though, therefore, any kind of formal approach is not expected to take place until at least next year.
The 18-year-old has also been heavily linked with a move to Liverpool with Romano recently suggesting that Jurgen Klopp’s Reds will also be in the running next summer.
“There is no chance for Jude Bellingham to leave Borussia Dortmund before summer 2023,” Romano said.
“Liverpool are certainly interested for next summer – his talent and personality make him look like the perfect fit for a Jurgen Klopp team – but there is absolutely no definite deal because so many clubs want Jude and it will be an open race.”
Do you think the summer of 2023 will see two of England’s biggest clubs fight it out for the chance to sign Bellingham? – Let us know how you think this transfer saga could play out over the next 12-months in the comments below.