Man Utd seal £8.5m January deal as Liverpool urged to target Ten Hag weakness

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Written By Maya Cantina

Manchester United travel to Anfield to face Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday knowing a difficult task awaits them.

United are desperate for a result following damaging defeats at Old Trafford against Bournemouth and Bayern Munich. Pressure is on Erik ten Hag, who has to avoid a thrashing like the 7-0 one dished out by Liverpool back in March.

Meanwhile, there are now just over two weeks until the January transfer window, when Ten Hag may be given the opportunity to strengthen his squad. There could also be outgoings from United, with Jadon Sancho among the high-profile players looking for a transfer before the Sir Jim Ratcliffe era begins. So, without further ado, here are the latest headlines involving United.

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Van de Beek deal agreed

Donny van de Beek has finally found his exit route from United, with Eintracht Frankfurt getting in ahead of Girona to sign the Dutch midfielder. Van de Beek has been on the sidelines at United this season and is desperate for some first-team football.

Frankfurt are set to sign him on loan until the end of the season, with an option to make the move permanent. Sky Germany reports that United have settled for a purchase option which is just under €10million (£8.5m).

Should Van de Beek impress in the Bundesliga, then that would draw a line under his underwhelming stay at United. But £8.5m for a player who cost £40m back in 2020 also shows how wasteful the club have been in the transfer market.

Donny van de Beek is set to leave Manchester United in January
Donny van de Beek is set to leave Manchester United in January
Joe Prior/Visionhaus)

Arsenal hijacking deal for United target

Sporting Lisbon defender Goncalo Inacio has been on United’s radar, but Arsenal are set to get ahead of them by plotting a £51m transfer.

Portuguese outlet A Bola says the Gunners will activate his €60m (£51.5m) release clause to gazump United and Liverpool. United were linked with a swoop for the defender in November, but they were not willing to pay his release clause. Instead, they would have offered €45m (£39.3m) with a further €15m (£13.1m) in potential add-ons.

That possibility appears to be gone now. Inacio is a 22-year-old centre-back who has already made 143 appearances for Sporting and is very highly rated.

Read more here.

Goncalo Inacio of Sporting
Goncalo Inacio is a target for Arsenal
Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)

United weakness can be exploited at Anfield

Martin Keown thinks that Liverpool will borrow from Bournemouth when they take on United on Sunday. The Cherries were hugely successful in their 3-0 win last weekend and their pressing strategy was key to the win.

“Jurgen Klopp ’s high pressers will be itching to get at their visitors, having seen how they tried and failed to play out from the back against Bournemouth. Straight from kick-off, Bournemouth deliberately put the ball out of play for a United goal-kick to test their ability to play out,” Keown told the Daily Mail.

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“When Andre Onana was in possession, a predictable pattern emerged. Over and over, they fell into Bournemouth’s trap as the visitors blocked off the wide areas, forcing United to look through the middle. Inevitably, the ball ended up going backwards from Amrabat to Onana, who was forced to launch it long. The nerves crept in and they conceded the opening goal after losing the ball by their own box.”

Read more here.

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