Michael Keane told to reject Manchester United and join Everton

Nick Howson
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Burnley defender Michael Keane has been urged against rejoining Manchester United should he leave Turf Moor this summer. The 24-year-old has been an ever-present for the Clarets this season, performances which saw him make his international debut with England against Germany in March.

With Keane out-of-contract in the summer of 2018 speculation is growing over his future. Chelsea, Everton and Liverpool have all been linked with his services, while manager Sean Dyche – who is consigned to losing his star performer either this summer or at the end of next season – is unwilling to allow him to leave on the cheap.

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Reports emerged over the weekend suggesting Jose Mourinho was ready to trigger a clause inserted in Keane's contract when he left United in 2015 which allows the club first refusal on the defender. His £20m valuation would also be reduced to £15m due to the club being entitled to a 25% sell-on clause.

But despite the carrot of a possible return to United, where he failed to make a single senior appearance during four years as a professional, Keane has been advised to shun Mourinho's interest and move to Ronald Koeman's Everton. Former England and Liverpool centre-back Jamie Carragher believes Keane is not yet ready for the pressure of a big club and worries he would not be an automatic first choice should he return to the Theatre of Dreams.

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Michael Keane

"It's very difficult to play for a top club at that age because you're learning the game and still making mistakes," Carragher told Sky Sports. "I think Burnley has been great for him but it feels like the move is going to happen in the summer. There's talk about Manchester United; I think it would be a big mistake for Keane to go back. I just think he would still be seen as the lad who came through at Old Trafford, whereas, if he goes somewhere for £15m to £20m, he's the big signing.

"Phil Jones, Chris Smalling would know him as the kid from the youth team. He should go somewhere as the man, the centre-back, who's going to play every week. Would he do that for United? I'm not sure. There's talk of Everton going for him. I think that'd be perfect. Yes, you want to win trophies but the main thing is to play week in, week out."

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