Man Utd make decision over fresh ‘nasty b*stard’ bid as Ten Hag pencils in ‘serious’ defender offer

Joe Williams
Man Utd target Marko Arnautovic celebrates

Man Utd are unlikely to make a fresh bid to sign Bologna striker Marko Arnautovic in the January transfer window, according to reports.

The Red Devils were criticised early on in August when they seemed to be taking a scattergun approach to transfers with former Stoke City striker Arnautovic coming out of nowhere as a target.

After a backlash from supporters Man Utd – who made a £6.8m bid for the Austria international – eventually distanced themselves from a potential transfer with Arnautovic deciding to stay after talks with the former Bologna manager Sinisa Mihajlovic.

Speaking in November, Arnautovic revealed that Man Utd attempted to sign him “several times” throughout the summer and that it was a “difficult decision to stay in Italy”.

“Manchester United tried to sign me several times,” Arnautovic told Laola1. “And it was a difficult decision to stay in Italy because my family wanted to return to England.

“For me it’s clear that the Red Devils remain at the top of the universe. And Bologna, as a name, are not. But that’s fine.

“Here everything is calm, you have time for yourself and no stress. This is only good for me.”

The Athletic explained in September that Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag ‘identified a streak in the striker he wished to add to his dressing room’ with ‘nasty bastard’ used to describe him.

Former Man Utd interim boss Ralf Rangnick ‘was left shaking his head in bafflement United would go for that profile of player’ after encouraging them to make a number of younger signings.

The departure of Cristiano Ronaldo at the end of November has left Man Utd with just Marcus Rashford and injury-prone Anthony Martial as their striker options and Ten Hag wants to bring in a striker next month.

There have been murmurs that Arnautovic could again become a target for Ten Hag but ESPN claim that Man Utd ‘have all but ruled out renewing their interest’ the Austrian.

A centre-back is not necessarily a priority for the January transfer window but Ten Hag is understood to be keen to strengthen that position soon with Tuttomercatoweb insisting that want Napoli defender Kim Min-Jae in the summer.

Man Utd ‘warm up their engines and prepare the assault’ for Kim – who has a €50m release clause – in June with the Red Devils ready to get ‘serious’ with potential competition coming from Juventus and Inter Milan.

READ MORE: Erik ten Hag’s first term at Man Utd on a par with Pep Guardiola’s at Man City…