Man Utd identify £60m ‘priority’ left-back signing as Romano confirms club are ‘already working’ on deal

Joe Williams
Man Utd target Rayan Ait Nouri
Rayan Ait Nouri has emerged as a top target for the Red Devils.

Man Utd have made a new left-back a top priority this summer and Wolves’ Rayan Ait-Nouri is now top of their list, according to reports.

The Red Devils could face major upheaval in the summer transfer window after Sir Jim Ratcliffe completed a deal to buy 27.7 per cent of the Premier League club earlier this year.

Omar Berrada is set to arrive as the new CEO in the summer, while Jason Wilcox has already arrived from Southampton as the new technical director.

New Man Utd co-owners Ratcliffe and INEOS are also hopeful of striking a deal which would see Newcastle’s Dan Ashworth join as their new sporting director as soon as possible.

There is also the matter of the manager with Erik ten Hag under pressure following a poor eighth-place finish in the Premier League, while they were dumped out of Europe before Christmas.

And there have been reports that everyone in the Man Utd squad aside from Kobbie Mainoo, Alejandro Garnacho and Rasmus Hojlund, and more recently Bruno Fernandes, are available for sale in the summer transfer window.

That could see a major overhaul of the squad and transfer expert Fabrizio Romano recently made it clear that left-back is one of their priority areas for improvement.

Romano wrote in his Caught Offside column: “Manchester United want to bring in a new left-back this summer. They will be busy on this position in the upcoming transfer window because of too many injuries to Luke Shaw, while Tyrell Malacia has also been really unlucky with injuries, and the situation with Sergio Reguilon was not managed in the best way in the January transfer window.

“Man United will bring in a new left-back, and at the moment they are still exploring options as it’s not yet clear who they want. It could be an important young player, ready to compete, and they are on it, looking at options.”

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Romano told another outlet on the key area Man Utd are targeting: “Left-back, for sure. I’ve really known since February, March that Manchester United are already working to find a young, good left-back to bring in the summer transfer window.

“That is going to be one of the positions they want to cover.”

And, according to reports in France, Brest left-back Bradley Locko has ‘caught the eye’ of Man Utd with the Red Devils struggling to keep Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia fit.

However, Locko ‘does not seem to be Man United’s priority’ as they ‘would favour the track leading’ to £60m-rated Wolves left-back Ait Nouri this summer.

Locko would be the much cheaper option if they can’t reach an agreeement with Wolves for Ait Nouri, as Ligue 1 side Brest are looking for around €20m for his signature.

There have been rumours that Aaron Wan-Bissaka could be for sale in the summer to make room for reinforcements but former Man Utd striker Louis Saha still believes he could improve at Old Trafford.

Saha said: “What we’ve seen during his time at Manchester United is a player with enormous potential because he’s a very strong lad and he’s one of the very best in his position when it comes to defending. If he was able to play with wingers in top form, then his overall game would have increased as well.

“His creativity is not his strength but if he had a stronger relationship with the wingers in the team, then the overall balance would have been better.

“His chance creation and forward play still needs to improve, but he needs somebody in front of him to provide the magic and he’s still not found the right partner. When he was playing alongside Garnacho on the right-hand side, things were a bit better.

“If he does leave Manchester United this summer, then it’s because he’s not been provided with the right environment to improve . Ultimately, I still believe in him and he could improve in a better set up because he’s not had the right partnerships on the pitch and he’s been a part of an ever changing back four.”

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