Manchester United have come to the decision to sell academy graduate James Garner, which has put various Premier League suitors on alert, reports have revealed.
Garner has been on Man Utd’s books since 2009, when he joined their academy. He developed his senior credentials during a loan spell with Nottingham Forest last season. The midfielder made 49 appearances in all competitions as part of a promotion-winning team.
Forest have brought in bundles of new players since their return to Premier League status. But Garner is someone they have still been hoping they can welcome back to the City Ground.
United have been keeping hold of him for the time being, though. He played in three of their pre-season friendlies, although he only started once amid an injury-hit summer. Since then, he has been an unused substitute for their first two Premier League fixtures of 2022-23.
Man Utd’s pursuit of another midfielder, Adrien Rabiot, could reduce Garner’s chances of making it at Old Trafford further. Hence, various sources are now indicating he could leave, two years before his contract is due to expire.
According to The Athletic, Man Utd will consider permanent offers for Garner before the transfer window closes on September 1. He could cost his suitors a fee in the region of £14million.
The write-up has listed five clubs who could be in contention to keep him in the Premier League. There is a reminder of Forest’s interest, although they may have stocked up sufficiently with other players.
Alternative solutions for Garner, then, would include Everton, Leeds, Southampton and Tottenham. The latter, one of Man Utd’s rivals for the European places, are said to have watched him in action, while the rest have an interest.
The update of United’s decision for Garner has been backed up by the Manchester Evening News. They have reported that the club will be seeking a fee between £15million and £20million for him, which is a similar amount to what they would be paying to sign Rabiot.
The MEN‘s list of landing spots for the 21-year-old only includes Forest and Tottenham.
But it now looks likely that he could be sold. It would leave Man Utd with Scott McTominay, Fred, Donny van de Beek and potentially Rabiot as their main midfield options for the season.
Man Utd could regret James Garner decision
Only time will tell if it is the right thing for Manchester United to sell James Garner this summer.
He looks a talent and has equipped himself well for success in the senior game during his time with Forest. But it seems United are opting for more experience and are willing to sacrifice him.
If he goes on to become a big player elsewhere – especially if that was somewhere like Tottenham – then the Red Devils could come to regret their decision.
Garner could be out to prove them wrong, as well. Given the scrutiny on Fred and McTominay, van de Beek’s minimal impact and Rabiot’s far-from-encouraging statistics, maybe he should have been given a chance.
If he doesn’t make a success of himself, though, getting a windfall in the region of £15million might not be bad business.
For now, though, it looks like Man Utd may be making a short-sighted decision.
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