Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag’s charm offensive has already helped the club secure a deal for young full-back Tyrell Malacia. The club have also managed to convince free agent Christian Eriksen to sign on the dotted line according to reports. However, getting the Dane was no easy task.
Brentford, where the Denmark international spent six months last season, were trying desperately to tie him down to a long-term contract. They were even willing to break their wage structure to get the signing over the line.
Thomas Frank is a huge admirer of his compatriot and he saw first-hand how Eriksen’s presence in the middle of the park galvanised his team and helped them secure seven wins out of the 10 matches he started.
Frank was confident that the former Inter Milan player would remain in South London after the club took a chance on him when no one else did apart from the medical help provided in the background.
🚨 EXCLUSIVE: Christian Eriksen has verbally agreed to join Manchester United as a free agent. 30yo playmaker has communicated desire to play for #MUFC + accept 3y deal. Contract needs to be finalised & medical conducted before move complete @TheAthleticUK https://t.co/YPnPldXRhg
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) July 4, 2022
Eriksen’s camp, however, were demanding a lot of money for their client to remain in London. According to The Telegraph, Eriksen was demanding £200,000-a-week, as well as a signing-on bonus worth £10million.
That would have comfortably made him the highest-earner at the Bees. However, despite speculation linking him with former club Tottenham Hotspur and even Chelsea, United won the race for the midfield maestro.
United need quality in the middle of the park
Ten Hag knows the player well, having allowed him to train with Ajax before he secured his deal with Brentford. And his insistence on signing the former Ajax man proved decisive.
While other clubs were thought to be in the running, it was United who offered a three-year deal to the player. However, it is still not clear whether United have agreed to the exact monetary demands of the player’s camp.
Previously, it had been reported that United were prepared to offer him a two-year deal worth £150k-a-week. The star has verbally agreed to a contract and his medical and final contract details are pending.
It looks likely that Eriksen will be the next through the doors at Carrington with the club also deep in negotiations with another midfield target, Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong.
Eriksen’s versatility allows him to plug multiple gaps in that department. While he excelled as an advanced playmaker during his Spurs days, he is equally adept as a part of a midfield pivot or midfield three as he showed at Brentford.
The move represents a grand turnaround for a player who just over a year ago suffered cardiac arrest during Euro 2020 and had to be fitted with an ICD which meant no club dared to sign him.