Manchester United have revealed that Premier League and Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans is on their ‘long list’ of transfer targets this summer, according to talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook, although it remains to be seen whether they will make their move with a deal for Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong seemingly edging closer.
The Red Devils are known to be in the market for engine room reinforcements following the departures of Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata as free agents.
What is the latest news involving Man Utd?
Barcelona’s De Jong has been United’s top target this summer with new manager Erik ten Hag eager to be reunited with his former player at Old Trafford.
Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano had earlier revealed this week that a deal for the 25-year-old was now ‘stalling’ and that the player had ‘no intention to leave’ the Catalan giants.
That had led to the United hierarchy assessing alternative targets in case a deal for De Jong could not be reached.
And Crook has recently revealed that both Tielemans and Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Ruben Neves are on the shortlist of the 20-time English champions.
Tielemans only has one year remaining on his £120,000-per-week contract at Leicester and is believed to be available for £30 million, while Neves supposedly has a £50m price tag.
What has Crook said about Tielemans?
Midfield has been a problem position for United for several years now as the likes of Fred and Scott McTominay have been unable to exert the creativity, guile and protection that is required.
Consequently, several stars such as Leandro Parades of Paris Saint-Germain have been linked to the Theatre of Dreams, and although Crook admitted to not knowing much about those rumours, he confirmed that Tielemans is ‘certainly’ a player of interest.
In an interview, he said: “I don’t know much about the Parades one. Tielemans is certainly on their long list; I don’t know how high.”
How do Tielemans and De Jong compare?
As per FBref, Tielemans made 1.37 key passes, 2.87 shot-creating actions and 5.62 passes that entered the final 1/3 of the pitch per 90 minutes throughout 2021/22.
Those figures were all extremely similar to those that De Jong put up, with the Netherlands international producing figures of 1.45, 2.65 and 5.60, respectively.
However, Tielemans made a substantially bigger contribution to his side defensively, winning 1.68 tackles, making 1.40 interceptions and producing 5.0 successful pressures per 90.
In comparison De Jong managed totals of just 0.95, 1.13 and 3.2, indicating that Tielemans could be a solid back-up option for United and Ten Hag.