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Man Utd have started preliminary talks to sign Morten Hjulmand

Manchester United recently started preliminary talks with Sporting Lisbon over midfielder Morten Hjulmand, according to Record (page 13).

The Dane has been a key player for the Portuguese giants from the holding midfield role and United appear ‘interested’ in signing him this year.

Record claim that the club ‘even started preliminary talks’ with the Primeira Liga outfit, but were told that he won’t be available for less than his €80 million release clause.

The Red Devils are looking for ‘a lock’ in the centre of the park. It remains to be seen whether United will make a genuine attempt to sign him at the end of the campaign.

Hjulmand could be Casemiro’s replacement at United

Casemiro has had a difficult second season with the Red Devils and he has barely played over the past few months after picking up multiple injury setbacks.

The Brazilian could return to competitive action against Newport County this weekend, but there are doubts over his future at the club beyond the summer.

Casemiro is the joint-highest earner at United and the new management under Sir Jim Ratcliffe seem prepared to release him on a free with a huge pay-off.

Hjulmand could come in as his replacement. The Dane has a passing accuracy of 87 per cent for Sporting this term with an average of 2.1 tackles and 3.8 duels won.

The 24-year-old has made close to six ball recoveries per appearance. He has also been effective in getting out of tight spaces, winning 75 per cent of his take-ons.

United have seen the emergence of Kobbie Mainoo from the number six role in recent months, but manager Erik ten Hag may want a quality competitor besides him.

In Hjulmand, the club would have an experienced head with plenty of room for improvement.

Sporting are currently holding out for his buy-out clause, but the Lisbon club could be more willing to negotiate on the asking price during the next transfer window.

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