Manchester United have missed out on another promising opportunity as Youri Tielemans agrees a move to Aston Villa.
The Belgian playmaker has been looking for a new club after deciding to move following Leicester City’s relegation from the Premier League.
At 26 years of age, Tielemans still has his best years ahead of him, and the fact that United were apparently unable to make a move for the player despite him being available on a free transfer will not go down well with some fans.
Erik ten Hag is known to want a new midfielder to ease the creative burden on Christian Eriksen, who showed signs of fatigue at several points last season.
In his absence through injury, in particular, the lack of a midfielder capable of progressing the ball from deep was keenly felt by United.
Tielemans would certainly have been able to provide Eriksen with some relief in that role, with his wide range of passing and creative instincts well known to followers of England’s top tier.
But, as reported by Sky Sports, the Belgium star will instead be continuing his career at Villa Park.
There is a suggestion that the ongoing takeover saga and the subsequent uncertainty over United’s available budget has hamstrung the club’s ability to act decisively on such transfers.
But equally, it is clear that there are midfielders out there that Ten Hag would rather pursue than Tielemans.
Mason Mount remains of interest, although there is still a long way to go before a compromise can be reached between United and Chelsea.
The Blues want an £80m package for their contract rebel, while Man United are unwilling to go above £55m.
When players such as Youri Tielemans and Adrien Rabiot are available on free transfers, however, one wonders whether the Glazers’ stubborn refusal to kindly remove themselves from the club is causing severe detriment to Manchester United’s ability to act.
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