Home » Lille’s teenage star Carlos Baleba being eyed by Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, & more

Lille’s teenage star Carlos Baleba being eyed by Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, & more

by Ayantan Chowdhury

Manchester United needed a massive result to get their season back on track and it came at the first time of asking as they thrashed Real Betis 4-1 in the first leg of their Europa League Round of 16 tie.

Erik ten Hag picked the same team as Sunday in a bid to see them atone for their mistakes and the team came up trumps and are in the hotseat for a place in the quarterfinals.

Both the FA Cup and Europa League still look winnable but the Premier League has been a bridge too far this season and the Dutch boss will be aware of the need to strengthen ahead of next season.

Midfield recruitment necessary

A striker seems to be the top-most priority with a midfielder also being eyed but it depends on the overall budget and the capital raised through player sales.

The main contenders in midfield — Jude Bellingham, Frenkie de Jong, Alexis Mac Allister and Declan Rice are all going to cost a hefty sum and United might be forced to have a couple of backup options ready.

An interesting player that the club are monitoring this season is exciting Lille teenager Carlos Baleba. The 19-year-old only arrived at Lille in January 2022 from the Brasseries du Cameroun academy.

He made his professional debut for the club back in August during a 4-1 win over Auxerre.

So far this season, the midfielder has 14 league and cup appearances for Paulo Fonseca’s side and his displays have garnered interest from all across Europe.

The Cameroonian can play both as a defensive midfielder and further forward and this versatility can be a huge asset in determining his future.

Potential superstar-in-the-making

According to 90min, “Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Newcastle, West Ham and Leicester have all sent scouts to watch Baleba in recent months with a view to making a potential offer.

“In terms of Lille’s stance on Baleba, it’s understood they see him in the same vein as Amadou Onana, who left for Everton last summer in a deal worth north of £30m. It’s likely the former Ligue 1 champions will demand a similar fee this time around.”

A premier League move could be on the cards after Lille rebuffed AC Milan’s January approach while Juventus, Nice and Monaco are all ready to swoop.

United have recently failed to attract potential superstars such as Bellingham so going a step ahead and signing Baleba could be a good deal for the future but it would not be a signing that will improve the team immediately.

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