Total Man Utd rejection sparks late push to sign West Ham star whose future is no longer assured
Man Utd have emphatically closed the door on a defensive exit this month, with the player’s primary suitor quickly shifting their attention to a West Ham star instead, per reports.
Erik ten Hag is understood to be hesitant to allow any first-team stars to leave this month. With good reason, Manchester United are going strong in four competitions and the hectic fixture list will place greater importance on their strength in depth.
As such, loan moves for the likes of Anthony Elanga and Facundo Pellistri are yet to materialise despite widespread interest.
Another Man Utd star who’s been inundated with offers is centre-half, Victor Lindelof.
Fabrizio Romano reported Atletico Madrid made an approach earlier in the window, while Inter Milan have tried their luck more recently.
The Sweden international, 28, is no better than third-choice at centre-back following the arrival of Lisandro Martinez. If Harry Maguire is favoured, Lindelof is a lowly fourth choice.
However, Romano claimed Man Utd are dead set against a Lindelof exit in any form this month, tweeting they will not accept either a loan or permanent bid.
Gazzetta dello Sport (via Sport Witness) claim Simone Inzaghi’s Inter are continuing to push, though the message is clear. In Romano’s words, there’s “no way” Lindelof leaves Old Trafford in the window’s remaining 36 hours.
Ten Hag is described as ‘counting on him’ and as such, Inter must turn their gaze elsewhere.
The reigning Serie A champions are exploring a late centre-back move due to the possibility they’ll sell Milan Skriniar to PSG this month.
Skriniar has agreed to join PSG as a free agent at season’s end. Though given he’s destined to leave anyway, Inter are mulling whether to sell right now and recoup a cut-price fee.
If the Slovakian is turfed out six months early, a direct replacement is needed.
Inter turn spotlight on West Ham
With Lindelof out of the equation, a second update out of Italy (also via Sport Witness), puts West Ham’s Thilo Kehrer front and centre.
The Germany international, 26, was a £10.1m signing from PSG last summer and amid injuries to the likes of Nayef Aguerd, featured heavily in the first half of the campaign.
However, his error-strewn displays left a lot to be desired and with a full compliment to choose from, Kehrer has been an unused substitute in three of West Ham’s last four league matches.
Kehrer is understood to be one option Inter are looking at in the event Skriniar leaves this month.
Kehrer’s reduced role of late is giving Inter hope, though a move would still take some convincing on David Moyes’ end.
The Scot has already sold one centre-back this month in the form of Craig Dawson who joined Wolves.
The Hammers did add Brazilian Luiazo to Aguerd, Kurt Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna in their ranks, though he’s only 20 and lacks experience.
What’s more, West Ham are still in the FA Cup and have a Europe Conference League knockout campaign on the horizon.
Strength in depth will be key and Kehrer’s versatility offers Moyes an option at right-back too.
The BBC reported Newcastle have agreed a £3m deal to sign reserve right-back Harrison Ashby. While he’s barely featured in the first eleven for West Ham as yet, his exit will place greater emphasis on Kehrer to cover multiple positions when required.
It’s not stated whether Inter would be seeking a loan or permanent move for the German. In any case, it’d still be a major surprise to see West Ham sanction yet another defensive exit.
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