Erik ten Hag can get Frenkie de Jong replacement for bargain price – could transform United’s season

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Man United have been linked with a move for Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemans – and could complete a cut-price deal in January.

That is because the Belgian is out of contract at the King Power Stadium next summer, with no indication that he will extend his stay in the East Midlands.

In September, Spanish outlet Fichajes claimed that United boss Erik ten Hag had requested three signings from the club, including a central midfielder.

United are well stocked in that area, particularly with the summer arrivals of Casemiro and Christian Eriksen. But the Dutchman wants a player that can rotate with Eriksen in a creative role.

That player, as per the above source, is believed to have been Tielemans.

However, the Red Devils’ plans may change, with the Manchester Evening News claiming that the hierarchy are not actively planning for any incomings in January.

Youri Tielemans: Why he could be the ideal signing for United

Tielemans has long been tracked by a number of clubs in England and abroad, with Arsenal reportedly in pole position to sign him.

But the fee of around £30 million Leicester would likely request for his services – as per CBS Sports reporter Ben Jacobs (via Football.London) in August – might entice others, including United, to step up their efforts.

The Foxes will be wary that, in January, Tielemans can enter negotiations with overseas clubs over a pre-contract agreement.

But if he decides he wants to remain in England, Brendan Rodgers’ side are in a stronger position, given that English clubs can only negotiate pre-contract agreements in the final month of his deal.

Therefore, if one club is desperate to sign Tielemans in January, it could spark a battle for his services that would at least secure the Foxes a fee for one of their most talented players.

For United, the Belgium international would be a cheaper alternative to Frenkie de Jong and Jude Bellingham, players the Red Devils have also been linked with making a move for.

Tielemans would represent an excellent creative option in midfield, as well as physicality, competent defensive abilities and, perhaps crucially, goal contributions. The midfielder has recorded at least eight per season since joining Leicester in January 2019, and has two goals to his name already this season.

It is that which could transform United’s campaign, as Tielemans could cover for Eriksen when rotation is necessary, and provide the side with continuous attacking threat in a key position during a packed post-World Cup schedule.

He has also played in a two-player and three-player midfield in the past, making him a great fit for Ten Hag’s systems at Old Trafford. Whether United make a move for the 25-year-old remains to be seen.

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