Home » Manchester United, Barcelona competing to land Villareal ace Alex Baena

Manchester United, Barcelona competing to land Villareal ace Alex Baena

by Ayantan Chowdhury

Manchester United produced an ultra-attacking display as they downed Chelsea 2-1 to return to winning ways in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Manager Erik ten Hag was under a lot of pressure ahead of the game with the British media revealing that he had lost the squad due to a mixture of tactics, training, and mismanagement.

The Dutchman responded bravely by dropping underperformers from the Galatasaray and Newcastle games and playing Antony and Alejandro Garnacho on the wings.

The move paid dividends and the manager will be hoping they can continue to produce in the upcoming festive fixtures especially with the club struggling for goals and creativity up front.

United need their wingers to fire

Whether or not the club can strengthen in January depends on outgoings with reports suggesting Jadon Sancho is likely to be moved on during the winter window.

If the English winger’s sale is completed, United will try and bring in an adequate replacement and Villareal’s Alex Baena is a likely target as per Spanish publication AS.

The Peoples Person had written about United’s interest in the Spaniard during the summer transfer window and it seems the versatile star could be looked at during January as well.

Barcelona admire the player and are looking at him while Aston Villa, Liverpool, and even Arsenal are credited with interest.

“In any case, Barcelona is not the only club that has Baena on its agenda. Aston Villa has been another of the clubs that have been interested in his signing this summer, but in the end, the operation did not materialize.

“Apart from Aston Villa, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Arsenal also are moving ahead with their interest, so it cannot be ruled out that one of them could try to take him in the next winter market.”

The Spanish international was a revelation last term, scoring 12 times and assisting a further six while playing on both wings and as the number 10 and even in central midfield, highlighting his versatility.

The 22-year-old already has four goals and six assists in 16 starts across all competitions. He reportedly has a release clause of €60 million with is contract valid until 2026.

Baena being looked at

However, the Yellow Submarines are open to a price reduction.

“The Roquetas de Mar midfielder renewed his contract with Villarreal last January and extended his contract until 2028.

“The operation also meant an increase in his termination clause above 60 million, although Villarreal would be willing to negotiate his transfer for a price that would be around 40 million.”

It will be interesting to see whether there is any truth to these rumours. Baena is showing his class in La Liga and could be a decent fit but more likely a summer acquisition considering the price and teams involved in the chase.

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