Manchester United are doing bits this season.
The Red Devils thrashed Leicester City 3-0 at Old Trafford this weekend, to consolidate their credentials in what might soon become the most tightly contested title-race in many a season.
Youri Tielemans came on as a substitute for the Foxes at the hour mark, replacing homegrown Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall in the heart of the Leicester midfield.
As he was making his way onto the pitch, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag was seen patting the Belgian on the back in what appeared to be a friendly gesture.
The incident was captured on camera and quickly circulated on social media, with many Manchester United fans interpreting it as a sign that the club will finally act on their long standing interest in the elegant 25-year-old midfielder.
Ten Hag patting Tielemans on the back.. 👀🤔 #MUFC ✅ pic.twitter.com/A5aeAZcf0g
— ManUtdMania (@ManUtdMania_) February 20, 2023
However, it is important to note that the pat on the back could simply have been a friendly gesture between two professionals who have mutual respect for one another.
Tielemans’s contract runs out in the summer and he will be available on a free transfer.
Arsenal and Tottenham have also often been linked with the former Anderlecht man and it will be interesting to see where he finally ends up, come May.
Tielemans moved to Leicester City from AS Monaco in 2019, initially on loan before making the move permanent for a reported fee of around £40 million.
Since then, he has established himself as a key player for the Foxes, contributing to their historic FA Cup win in 2021 by scoring the winner from all of 35 yards out, against a Frank Lampard led Chelsea side.
United signed Marcel Sabitzer on loan from Bayern Munich in January, but there are doubts over whether the Austrian’s deal will be made permanent, which might open the door for Tielemans to move to the Theatre of Dreams in the summer.
Playing for a club of Manchester United’s stature and unique history could be a huge draw for the Belgian international and if they do indeed sign him, Tielemans may well become a significant addition to the Manchester United squad for several years to come.