Fabrizio Romano has confirmed Manchester United considered Monaco star Youssouf Fofana before signin Sofyan Amrabat in the summer, amid reports the Red Devils retain interest in the 24-year-old as a possible replacement for Casemiro.
The Brazilian has failed to reach anywhere near the heights of his debut season at the start of the current campaign, struggling with the pace of the Premier League before picking up an injury that looks set to keep him out until next year.
As a result, there have been rumours of United scouring the market ahead of the January transfer window, and Fofana is one player that appears in much of the gossip.
The midfielder – who’s under contract with Monaco until 2025 – was heavily linked with a move to the Premier League in the summer, with Nottingham Forest and Liverpool said to be keeping tabs.
He remained with the Ligue 1 club but transfer expert Romano has revealed that United were also looking at him before they opted to sign Amrabat on loan from Fiorentina.
Romano said: “Youssouf Fofana is a name attracting interest at the moment, and I can reveal that Man Utd considered him as backup option for Sofyan Amrabat (who was their top target) in the summer.
“I can’t mention specific clubs pursuing Fofana now, it’s too early, as this is more a move for the summer than for January as he’s a key player for Monaco.
“I’m also told that PSG are not working to sign him, despite reports.”
Former Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre has given his seal of approval to Fofana, claiming he “ticks a lot of boxes to play as a defensive midfielder for a Premier League team”.
Silvestre said: “Every club could have moved for Youssouf Fofana early in the summer. I know he was available as he has two years left on his contract.
“He could have been a potential midfielder for Man Utd then. He has a bit more physical presence than Fred had for instance, but the club decided to sign Amrabat instead of Fofana. We know it was a reaction to the early start of the season.
“Fofana is ticking a lot of boxes to play as a defensive midfielder for a Premier League team and Man United could definitely be his next move, for sure.”