Man Utd ‘had Vlahovic transfer practically closed’ as fresh details surface

Ten Hag gives Man Utd team news update for Bournemouth trip

Manchester United had ‘practically closed’ a deal for Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic back in the January transfer window, according to reports. The Serbia international is being linked with a move to Old Trafford again as the summer creeps closer. However, Real Madrid could also swoop for the 23-year-old as they look to bounce back from their Champions League exit earlier in the week.

Manchester United signed Wout Weghorst back in January, with the Netherlands international joining on loan from Burnley to compensate for the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.

However, Spanish newspaper AS, via SportWitness, say the Red Devils had ‘practically closed’ a deal to sign Vlahovic from Juventus.

It’s claimed that United and Juventus were negotiating a deal after the Serie A giants made it clear they were open to cutting the 23-year-old loose.

But the operation was cancelled at the last minute with his agent deciding to intervene, with the forward ultimately staying in Turin.

Fast-forward to now, and Vlahovic is on the radar of Real Madrid.

Los Blancos reportedly want a new No 9 to act as a ‘hinge’ between Karim Benzema and their next superstar signing.

Real have long admired Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe, though he appears destined to stay at the Parc des Princes for another 12 months instead.

Erling Haaland is also on their radar but it’s hard to see the Manchester City star jumping ship after just a year at the Etihad Stadium.

United, it seems, face competition if they’re to land Vlahovic at the end of the season.

And it’ll be intriguing to see what unfolds, with Erik ten Hag determined to add to his attacking options at Old Trafford this summer.

United are understood to have made Harry Kane their top transfer target, with the veteran shining for Tottenham once again this season.

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But dealing with Spurs, and supremo Daniel Levy, won’t be straightforward.

Levy hasn’t sold a single player to United since allowing Dimitar Berbatov to cross the divide all the way back in 2008.

Luka Modric, Gareth Bale, Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld were all prevented from moving to United as a result.

The Red Devils also have interest in Victor Osimhen, who recently propelled Napoli to a first Serie A title since 1990.

Yet given his importance to Luciano Spalletti’s team, it’s feasible Napoli will try and price United out of a deal.

Meanwhile, Ralf Rangnick revealed last year that he’d asked for Vlahovic during his time in the dugout – only for his request to be denied.

“There were a few… [Luis] Diaz who is now at Liverpool, [Julian] Alvarez who will be at Man City in the summer, [Dusan] Vlahovic who at the time was still with Fiorentina,” he said when asked about players he’d recommended.

“So those are just three of them that come across my mind now.”

Rangnick also said at the time: “I spoke to the board and told them, ‘Shouldn’t we at least speak and analyse and find if we can at least get a player, on loan or a permanent deal?’

“In the end the answer was no. Maybe they didn’t want to do any winter business. It doesn’t matter, the answer was no.

“Maybe I still believe that we should have tried in those 48 hours, the board meanwhile sees it the same way, they agreed, but they also spoke to the scouting department at the same time as me.

“The answer at the time was no, there is no player on the market that can really help us.

“Maybe we should have tried to sign a player in these 48 hours since we knew Mason [Greenwood] wouldn’t be available and Anthony Martial had already left on loan.

“We also at least were aware that Edinson Cavani might not be available for eight out of ten games.

“Maybe I should have pushed even more in order to get this additional striker but, as I said, we didn’t and now it’s time to look ahead.”

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