Man Utd transfer blow: ‘Agreement’ reached for ‘golden boy’ as Ratcliffe’s ‘mega-money swoop’ fails

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Manchester United-related According to Fabrizio Romano, Antwerp’s wonderkid Arthur Vermeeren is very close to joining Atletico Madrid.

With his achievements in Belgium and the Champions League this season—most notably, his goal and man of the match award in a 3-2 victory over Barcelona in December—Vermeeren has drawn attention.

The 18-year-old has several suitors in the Premier League and has been linked to several elite clubs throughout Europe.

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Although Manchester United, Tottenham, and Arsenal are all thought to be interested, the Red Devils have been most frequently mentioned; according to one rumour, new owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe is preparing a “mega-money swoop.”

It appears that Erik ten Hag will not be able to sign Vermeeren after Atletico Madrid, the dominant team in La Liga, completed a deal with Antwerp.

Romano disclosed on Tuesday that the Belgian team had accepted a bid “in excess of €25 million” following their rejection of a “€15 million package” the previous week.

Negotiations on personal terms are still ongoing, so Romano hasn’t said “here we go.”

On Wednesday morning, he gave another update, writing on X: “After the agreement with Antwerp on a €22 million fee plus add-ons, Atletico Madrid is preparing formal documents for the Arthur Vermeeren deal.”

“To finish the personal terms agreement and seal the deal, Atleti will also speak with Arthur and his camp again today.”

According to a Nacional article from May of last year, Diego Simeone’s team is landing a real “golden boy,” thus this should be a major coup.

Vermeeren’s estimated cost of €10 million was included in that article, underscoring his remarkable performance this campaign.

Another team interested in recruiting the highly regarded teenager—who has been likened to Xavi and Iniesta—is Barcelona. That’s not an awful comparison.

Before Antwerp’s September Champions League encounter at the Nou Camp, manager Mark van Bommel stated that he would not discuss the young midfield player with Barca boss Xavi because “he would buy him immediately.”

Has Xavi requested any information regarding Arthur Vermeeren? Van Bommel laughed, “I won’t give him any information because he would buy him immediately.”

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