Man Utd €80m transfer case now ‘closed’ after they ‘considered trying their luck again’ in Jan

Joe Williams
Man Utd target Federico Valverde controls the ball

Man Utd will have to move onto other targets in the summer after Real Madrid reportedly made their stance clear on Federico Valverde in January.

The Red Devils improved their midfield in the summer transfer window with Christian Eriksen – who is now out until at least the end of April with an injury – arriving on a free transfer and Casemiro joining for £70m from Real Madrid.

Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal have all been linked over the last year to Valverde as all three look to solidify the midfield area of their side.

Under Erik ten Hag Man Utd have improved in most positions with the Dutchman guiding his side to fourth in the Premier League table, level on points with third-placed Newcastle and 11 points adrift of leaders Arsenal.

There have been rumours that Ten Hag could allow Scott McTominay to move on, while former Man Utd midfielder Roy Keane reckons Fred should be allowed to leave too.

That would leave room for more midfield additions and Spanish publication Nacional claims that Man Utd made an €80m offer for Valverde in the summer and ‘considered trying their luck again’ in January.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez ‘rejected a very interesting proposal’ from Man Utd but the Red Devils ‘still insist’ on pursuing the Uruguay international.

The €80m is still ‘considered insufficient’ for Valverde – who won the La Liga Player of the Month award in September – and Los Blancos ‘are not considering letting Valverde leave, and only an irresistible proposal’ would see a U-turn.

Man Utd would have to offer ‘much more’ in the summer transfer window and Valverde hasn’t given ‘any indication’ that he wants to leave the Bernabeu.

The report adds that this ‘episode can be considered closed’ and Man Utd ‘will have to look for other alternatives to reinforce the squad’ in the next transfer window.

Man Utd legend Keane pointed to Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Fred and McTominay as possible players to upgrade on when the Red Devils enter the summer market.

“I think the last few days have been difficult with the dropping points last minute against Palace and the defeat today,” Keane told Sky Sports after their loss to Arsenal last month.

“So yeah that’s what the game does to you. United weren’t at their best but you think could they have hung on for the draw, taken a point and move on.

“But it goes back to where United made progress, but then come to the end of the game Shaw’s still at left back – question marks over him – Wan-Bissaka, Fred’s back in midfield, McTominay – as if United haven’t moved on from their problems of the past.

“I’m not just blaming them players because it was a tough game and you’ve got to give credit to Arsenal, but it is a reality check.”

READ MORE: Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd among the Premier League 2023 January transfer window winners