Manchester United’s hopes of signing Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen have been resurrected this week as the player has told new manager José Mourinho he wants to leave the club, according to The Athletic.
Eriksen has refused to sign a new contract at Spurs that has been on the table for the last year. The London club might have been willing to sell the player during the summer window and it was widely reported that United made enquiries for Eriksen at the time, but the Dane was reportedly cool on the idea, preferring a move to Real Madrid that never materialized.
As the player’s contract expires at the end of this season, he is able to enter pre-contract negotiations with new clubs from the 1st of January. With suitors including Juventus and Inter Milan, United may hope to get a head start on their rivals by making Spurs’ chairman Daniel Levy an offer he can’t refuse in January so that the London club can salvage some revenue for the wantaway star.
The Athletic report that one of Mourinho’s first acts as Spurs manager was to try to persuade Eriksen to stay with the club, but the player was adamant he wanted a new challenge elsewhere. As a result of these discussions, Mourinho has left Eriksen out of his first three team selections for the club and appears to have accepted defeat, which all but gives the green light for Levy to cash in when the January window opens. And whilst Levy is notoriously difficult to deal with, he is a pragmatist first and foremost and may also be able to kill two birds with one stone by signing one of Mourinho’s go-to players Nemanja Matic, out of favour at United, in exchange. Such a pragmatic exchange would also appeal to United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and is seen as a distinct possibility by The Athletic.
Of course, Eriksen’s preferred destination remains Real Madrid but, as reported here this week, Federico Valverde’s recent performances in Los Merengues’ midfield has staked a powerful claim for a nailed-down first team berth that makes the likelihood of their signing another central midfielder at this stage much lower. The Athletic claims that Eriksen “is said to have an attraction to the scale of United as one of the biggest clubs in the world” and if true, this means it is not inconceivable that the Old Trafford club might be able to entice the Dane to join them in January, especially if the alternative is waiting out the last six months of his contract on the Spurs bench.