Man Utd transfer latest: John Murtough holds talks to sign £52m-rated Monaco full-back as Barcelona ponder response

·4-min read
Vanderson De Oliveira Campos of AS Monaco during the UEFA Champions League Third Qualifying Round match between PSV Eindhoven and AS Monaco at Phillips Stadium on August 9, 2022 in Eindhoven, Netherlands Credit: PA Images
Vanderson De Oliveira Campos of AS Monaco during the UEFA Champions League Third Qualifying Round match between PSV Eindhoven and AS Monaco at Phillips Stadium on August 9, 2022 in Eindhoven, Netherlands Credit: PA Images

Manchester United are reportedly nearing a January solution to their right-back issues with talks over a deal for AS Monaco star Vanderson getting underway.

United boss Erik ten Hag invested heavily over the summer, spending to the tune of £216m. That outlay remains the most the Red Devils have ever spent across a single transfer window. However, despite making six new signings – including £85.5m Antony – there remains some areas of weakness in the United squad.

Having invested so much in the summer, there remains some doubts over how much funds the Glazer family will release. But despite the confusion, reports over the weekend suggested Ten Hag will still have around £70m at his disposal.

The Dutchman managed to address his midfield and central defensive concerns, which were deemed a priority. To that end, both Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez have made positive contributions so far. There is also the sense that there is much more to come from Casemiro.

The Brazilian has, so far, only played in 186 minutes worth of action for United as Ten Hag bides his time with the 30-year-old.

His fellow Brazilian, Antony, made an instant in scoring on his debut against Arsenal. He will be chomping at the bit to impress again and prove a big detractor wrong in Marco van Basten.

Now the pair could be joined by a third Brazilian star in Vanderson De Oliveira Campos, better known as Vanderson.

The 21-year-old only moved to AS Monaco in January, in a £9.6m move from Gremio.

However, his impact has already been vast, with the right-back scoring twice and assisting once in 12 Ligue 1 starts over the second half of last season.

Man Utd keen to beat Barcelona to Vanderson

And while he’s yet to get off the mark this season, Vanderson continues to impress. Indeed, he’s featured in 14 games so far.

Such has been his impact in such a short space of time, that Monaco decided to reward him with an instant pay-hike. Those improved terms keep him at the Stade Louis II until summer 2027.

Part of that decision came amid links with the player from Barcelona. Xavi’s side were themselves in the hunt for a new right-back, with Sport claiming he was on their radar.

Indeed, Barcelona reportedly went as far as asking Monaco for their valuation of Vanderson. And it seems their £52m (€60m) asking price appeared above what they were willing to spend. Instead, Xavi’s side were prioritising deals elsewhere, with Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski among their high-profile new arrivals.

That decision not to move for Vanderson then, however, looks likely to cost them.

Per Sport, United are now in talks over a prospective January deal for the 21-year-old.

They write that Ten Hag is prioritising a new right-back in 2023 and that talks over a move for Vanderson are already underway.

Negotiations for the deal are being left in the capable hands of director of football John Murtough. And it’s believed he’s already held talks with Vanderson’s representatives over a potential move.

The report adds that Vanderson is willing to make this his last season at Monaco. However, it remains unclear whether Monaco plan to sell the player in January or the summer window.

Brazilian star may tick all the boxes for Ten Hag

The right-back slot in the United side is currently Diogo Dalot’s. In fairness to the Portuguese, his form so far this season has been good. However, there has always been the sense that Ten Hag wants to further strengthen the position.

To that end, Aaron Wan Bissaka will reportedly leave in January. He was up for sale during the summer window, with West Ham and Crystal Palace emerging as possible takers. However, United are now reportedly strongly open to his sale.

If they can land Vanderson, though, Ten Hag will be signing a player of real quality.

A modern-day full-back, Vanderson, who stands at 5ft 11in, will one day surely win full international honours with Brazil.

And while his price looks a little steep, the presence of Barcelona means United are looking to act quickly.

With Vanderson showing excellent form so far this season, he appears destined for a major career in the game.

A relative unknown at this stage, a move to Old Trafford would bring him to worldwide attention.

United will likely need to act fast, though. That’s with Sport claiming Barcelona are pondering their response to reports that United are already in talks.

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