Man Utd transfers: Fabrizio Romano sensationally shuts down rumours Ten Hag target will head to Spain in ridiculous swap deal
Fabrizio Romano has provided Erik ten Hag with a boost by revealing a Manchester United-linked player will not be heading to Barcelona in what would have been a frighteningly cheap transfer.
Ten Hag has a big job on his hands if Man Utd are to catch up with Premier League rivals Manchester City and Arsenal next season. The Red Devils have won the Carabao Cup and reached the FA Cup final, but they are 18 points behind the top two in the league and also failed to get past the Europa League quarter-finals.
Ten Hag made some clever transfers last summer, with Casemiro and Lisandro Martinez in particular making a huge impact since moving to Old Trafford. And the manager will need more top-class players to join later this year if Man Utd are to get in the mix for Prem glory.
His priority is to replace Wout Weghorst and Anthony Martial at centre-forward, therefore helping left winger Marcus Rashford form an unstoppable new partnership. According to Tuesday’s Euro Paper Talk, Lautaro Martinez could arrive from Inter Milan to solve Ten Hag’s striker conundrum.
The Man Utd boss is also eager for a new central midfielder to join. He has long been a fan of Frenkie de Jong as a result of their time together at Ajax, but the 25-year-old wants to stay at Barcelona.
Instead, Wolves talisman Ruben Neves is one of the players Man Utd are eyeing up. On Monday, Spanish newspaper Sport revealed Man Utd would have to fend off Liverpool, Arsenal and Barcelona for Neves.
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Surprisingly, there have recently been claims the Portugal international will be shipped to Barca as part of Wolves’ bid to sign winger Ansu Fati. The Molineux club supposedly launched a €30million (£26m) offer, plus Neves, to reach an agreement for Fati.
However, transfer guru Romano has moved to shut down these claims. On Twitter, he wrote: ‘Barcelona are currently not advancing with Ansu Fati, Ruben Neves swap deal with Wolves despite links.
Fabrizio Romano plays down Barcelona interest
‘Neves and Ansu share the same agent — but the Portuguese midfielder isn’t a priority target for Barca manager Xavi.’
Neves and Fati are both represented by notorious super-agent Jorge Mendes, which is probably why the shock swap deal was talked up in the Spanish press.
Those involved with Man Utd will be delighted to see Romano shutting down Barca’s interest in Neves. It means they have one less rival as they look to prise the midfield enforcer away from Wolves. However, Liverpool and Arsenal must still be overcome before Ten Hag can get his man.
Wolves fans will also be happy to hear that Neves will not be heading to Barca, or that Fati will be going in the opposite direction. While Fati is a highly rated young player, he has had a torrid time with injuries over the past two seasons and is therefore extremely low on confidence. It is unlikely he would have been a success at Wolves, should his transfer to the West Midlands have gone ahead.
Wolves are still preparing to lose Neves this summer, as his contract with them expires next summer and he is showing little sign of wanting to pen an extension. However, they will be hoping to get way more than Fati in return, having previously valued Neves at between £40-50m.
Meanwhile, a heavily-criticised Man Utd player has suggested the club will try to keep him this summer, despite rumours to the contrary.
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