Manchester United are interested in signing Monaco midfielder, Youssouf Fofana, as a potential replacement for Casemiro who is linked with a move to the Saudri Pro League, according to a report.
Scott Saunders and Graham Bailey (90min) contend United see the Frenchman as the perfect player to improve the midfield unit at Old Trafford, possessing a strong blend of physical and technical attributes.
A report by The Peoples Person covered the link between Casemiro and Saudi Arabia, with the Brazilian thought to be one of the Pro League’s “primary” transfer targets in January.
A number of United players – including Bruno Fernandes, Raphael Varane, Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho – have also been rumoured to be on the Saudi wishlist, as they seek to continue the rapid expansion of their league.
If Casemiro was to depart in January, a replacement would be immediately needed to fill the void in midfield. Fofana appears to fit the bill, capable of playing as both a central and defensive midfielder.
A statistical analysis of the Monaco man reveals a well-rounded player who is able to affect the game in both directions.
Fofana ranks in the 91st percentile for progressive passes and 85th for progressive carries. This is then matched off-the-ball, where he ranks in the 93rd percentile for interceptions and 85th for blocks.
3 assists in Monaco’s opening eleven league games suggest it is not merely his own half that Fofana can produce as well.
United were linked with the Frenchman at the end of the summer window, with a reported loan offer rejected by Monaco. The club ended up signing Sofyan Amrabat instead – a long-term target of Erik ten Hag, though the Moroccan has yet to settle fully to the rigours of English football.
Should Casemiro’s blockbuster transfer to Saudi Arabia come to fruition, however, United may need to revisit the French principality with a better offer for Fofana’s services.
The French midfielder’s contract expires at the end of the season, though Monaco reserve the right to extend this by a season should they wish. The expectation is the club will exercise this option, yet may still be open to a departure, at the right price.
What is absolutely certain is United’s midfield is struggling at present; a new option, either internally or externally, is required to improve it.