Manchester United have joined the race to sign Christian Eriksen this summer, but the Danish midfielder may well prefer to accept the offers from other clubs in the transfer window
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Manchester United want Christian Eriksen, but they will have to work hard to sign him this summer.
As Mirror Football has exclusively reported, United are keen on Eriksen to bolster their midfield, with Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba leaving at the end of the month. Eriksen has been offered a long-term contract by Brentford, while Tottenham and Everton are also in the running for the 30-year-old.
The appeal is clear. Eriksen could be available on a free transfer following an impressive spell with Brentford in which he contributed one goal and four assists in 11 Premier League matches. The Danish midfielder looked back to his brilliant best, becoming Brentford’s creative fulcrum to help them win seven of the 10 matches he started.
Erik ten Hag knows exactly what Eriksen can offer United, having seen him up close last year when the midfielder was training with Ajax in a bid to regain fitness following his cardiac arrest last summer during Euro 2020. He is a fantastic, consistent player and a top professional who would no doubt help change United’s culture.
Financially it makes sense too. United have got £50million off the wage bill by releasing players and, if he were to join, Eriksen would come on a free transfer, with his current Brentford deal expiring on June 30. Compared to other players available on the market, Eriksen would likely not command a huge weekly wage either.
The problem is that United are unlikely to be Eriksen’s first choice this summer. His performances have attracted plenty of suitors, with Brentford, Tottenham and Everton all going up against United in the race to sign him. Two of those clubs can offer something United cannot.
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Eriksen is very happy at Brentford, who gave him the chance to return to top-level football following his health scare last year. The Bees took him and his implantable cardiovascular defibrillator and built their side around him. Thomas Frank has proven to be the perfect manager for his compatriot and there are many other Danes in the squad to make him feel at home.
Meanwhile, his former club Tottenham can offer him the chance to play Champions League football – a factor which could well prove decisive, according to Sky Sports . While he might not be a guaranteed starter under Antonio Conte, with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur having formed a solid partnership in central midfield, he would play plenty of football.
By contrast, United don’t have much to offer. They can afford to pay high wages and have a manager who Eriksen already knows from training at Ajax, but will be playing in the Europa League next season while undergoing a full-scale rebuild. While the departures of Pogba, Lingard, Matic and Mata leaves plenty of room for midfielders, there is a chance Eriksen would still be a second fiddle.
Bruno Fernandes is well established as the creative heartbeat at United, who are really looking for a midfielder to play further back alongside Fred or Scott McTominay in a two-man pivot. Eriksen is flexible and has the engine to get forward from deeper positions, but his real strength lies in unlocking defences from higher up the pitch.
Mirror Football understands that Ten Hag is targeting six new signings this summer in an effort to turn around a team which is firmly in the doldrums. Those additions are clearly needed, but Eriksen’s case shows just how difficult it will be to get those new faces through the door at Old Trafford. United used to be a choice destination for top-level players, but now they are behind many of their rivals.