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Man Utd eye £80m duo as alternatives to Frenkie de Jong

Manchester United could hijack Arsenal’s move for Youri Tielemans as they look for alternatives to Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong, according to talkSPORT.

Youri Tielemans

Manchester United could hijack Arsenal’s move for Youri Tielemans as they look for alternatives to Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, according to talkSPORT.

New United manager Erik ten Hag is in the market for a new central midfielder after seeing Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic leave the club on free transfers following the expiration of their contracts this summer.

De Jong has been widely touted as ten Hag’s prime target but negotiations over a deal have dragged for months. talkSPORT says any proposed deal is complicated by the fact Barca owe the Dutchman £17m in deferred wages.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has also made public statements claiming the Catalans have no intention to sell de Jong while the player is believed to favour staying at the Nou Camp.

With little progress being made over a deal, talkSPORT reporter Alex Crooks claims Man Utd have drawn up a list of alternative targets with Youri Tielemans and Ruben Neves on their radar.

This will spell bad news for Arsenal as they’ve been strongly linked with a move for both players in recent months. Tielemans in particular has been tipped to complete a transfer to the Emirates Stadium this summer.

The Belgian international is in the final year of his contract at the King Power Stadium so Leicester need to cash-in or risk losing him for nothing next summer, and Arsenal have been eyeing a bargain move.

The Sun reported last week that the Gunners were ready to submit a formal offer for Tielemans while CBS Sports’ Ben Jacobs says the 25-year-old has already agreed personal terms over a switch to north London.

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It appears Arsenal are biding their time hoping to drive Leicester’s price down towards the end of the window, with talkSPORT suggesting Tielemans could be sold for just £30m.

However, this risky tactic could backfire as Manchester United are now eyeing the Belgian midfielder and they could be about to hijack another of Arsenal’s proposed deals.

The Gunners were closing in on a move for Lisandro Martinez last month before United came in to derail things. The two clubs are still battling it out over a deal for the Ajax defender.

It seems the same could be about to happen with Tielemans – although United may opt to move for Neves instead in order to avoid another bidding war. talkSPORT suggests Neves is valued at around £50m, so he’ll be a more expensive option than Tielemans.

We’ll have to wait and see how things develop over the coming days but it looks like Man Utd are eyeing an £80m duo as alternatives to de Jong, and Arsenal may want to step-up their talks with Tielemans before it’s too late.

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