In an exclusive interview with Dutch outlet De Telegraaf, Tyrell Malacia has basically confirmed his move to Manchester United.
The left-back was close to joining Lyon during the back end of last month, but United managed to hijack the deal at the final hurdle.
They made a better transfer proposal to Feyenoord. Lyon were prepared to match the bid, but Malacia chose to move to Old Trafford.
He completed his medical and signed his contract on Monday, and Malacia has now revealed his excitement about joining United.
Speaking to De Telegraaf, Malacia talked about his previous experience at Old Trafford when he was with the Feyenoord youth side.
The 22-year-old added that he has always followed United, having watched former Feyenoord star Robin van Persie excel at the club.
He said: “In the youth of Feyenoord, we played a youth tournament at Manchester United and I said: I will come back here one day. That has now come true and that is of course wonderful!”
“I always followed them [Man Utd] because Robin van Persie played there as a Feyenoord player. That’s why I got an extra feeling with that.”
Meanwhile, Malacia was full of praise for manager Erik ten Hag. He said that the Dutchman can make players better if they are willing to work hard.
He added: “Mr Ten Hag is a very good trainer and also a warm person, so I had a good conversation with him and I have a very good feeling with him.”
“That’s important, if all goes well we’ll work together for years. I’m looking forward to that, because I think I can learn a lot from him, he makes players who want to work hard better.”
Malacia was on the radar of Ten Hag when he was Ajax’s manager last summer. Hence, there were no surprises that United decided to hijack Lyon’s pursuit of the left-back.
The Netherlands international is known for his superb tackling, but has also impressed with his ability to win regular duels. Meanwhile, he has the knack for attempting shots in the final third.
He should provide quality competition to Luke Shaw for a starting spot, but may not be the first-choice just yet. His crossing needs improvement, which should happen under Ten Hag’s tutelage.
United are expected to announce Malacia’s arrival in the coming hours. He is scheduled to travel with the team for their pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia from July 8.
Ten Hag may ideally want more signings before embarking on the trip. Christian Eriksen could make the flight, having recently agreed personal terms over a free transfer.
The hierarchy are also pressing to sign Ajax’s Lisandro Martinez by Thursday, but it may not be straightforward as they must match the club’s €50 million valuation for him.
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