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€30m, €35m or €0m? Three options for De Jong partner in Man Utd’s new midfield

Manchester United have been in prolonged negotiations with Barcelona for midfielder Frenkie de Jong, but it appears they are close to finalising a suitable agreement for his transfer.

However, this may not end the club’s ambition to bolster their midfield. Erik ten Hag could be eyeing another quality option to add to his ranks and partner De Jong in a double pivot.

Here are three possible options the manager could pursue

Konrad Laimer – RB Leipzig

The 25-year-old Austrian has emerged as one of Bundesliga’s best central midfielders. He registered an impressive five goals and six assists from 41 appearances for Leipzig last term.

With a year left on his contract, the German outfit are contemplating his sale. Bayern Munich were initially deemed favourites to sign him, but have been put off by the €30 million price tag.

United have the chance to capitalise on the situation. Laimer predominantly operates from central midfield, but can also play as a holding midfielder or in the right-back position. His versatility is an added boost.

Ibrahim Sangare – PSV Eindhoven

Sangare was linked with the Red Devils and Chelsea at the beginning of the month with suggestions that he is keen on moving to the Premier League. He has a €35m release clause on his contract.

Compared to Laimer, the Ivory Coast star is a more defensive-minded player. He averaged a stunning 3.3 tackles and 2.6 interceptions per league game. He also won seven duels per appearance.

Ten Hag should have good knowledge over Sangare’s qualities, having been in the opposition dugout against PSV for many years. The 24-year-old recently assisted PSV’s winner against Ajax in the Dutch Cup final.

Christian Eriksen – Brentford (free transfer)

Among the trio, Eriksen is undoubtedly the most cost-effective option on a free transfer. The Dane made a terrific return to competitive football this year after signing a short-term deal at Brentford until June 30.

While he has generally played in the number 10 role, he operated in a three-man midfield for the Bees, registering an impressive four goals and one assist from just 11 Premier League appearances.

The 30-year-old won’t need much time to adapt unlike Laimer and Sangare, and could hit the ground running from the off. Ten Hag reportedly believes Eriksen can become a key player in his squad rebuild.

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