Man Utd face £70m dilemma as new midfielder eyed after Jude Bellingham and Frenkie de Jong



Posted Monday, March 13, 2023 by Express.co.uk

Manchester United are reportedly targeting Celta Vigo midfielder Gabri Veiga along with Jude Bellingham and Frenkie de Jong despite potentially having to pay as much as £70million to secure a move for the former. The Red Devils are widely expected to be in the market for a new playmaker when the bidding opens later this year, with Erik ten Hag eager to improve his ranks by spending wisely before next season gets underway.

Bellingham is said to be keenly admired by those in power at Old Trafford, although the England ace is also thought to be a target for the likes of Real Madrid, Liverpool and Manchester City. He would also cost United a significant amount of money, with Borussia Dortmund unlikely to entertain the idea of selling their prized asset unless they are able to recoup a nine-figure transfer fee.

There is also a chance that United could opt to reignite their pursuit of Barcelona maestro De Jong, who they targeted for several weeks last summer but to no avail after he eventually decided to remain at the Nou Camp. However, such a move would appear unlikely to come to fruition as things stand, leaving Veiga as a potential option for the Red Devils to chase instead of Bellingham or De Jong at the end of the season.

United scouts have watched Veiga on four occasions since the turn of the year, according to The Mirror, with club chiefs weighing up a summer move for his signature after leaving them impressed with his recent performances. No official bids are said to have been made for the player as of yet, although Celta are believed to be fully aware of the external interest in his services.

Man Utd face £70m dilemma as new midfielder eyed after Jude Bellingham and Frenkie de Jong
Jude Bellingham and Frenkie de Jong have been linked with big-money summer moves to Old Trafford

The 20-year-old's current deal is set to run until the summer of 2026 and includes a modest release clause of around £35m, but there is a chance that it could be doubled if a new contract is agreed over the coming weeks. This would leave United facing a dilemma over whether to pay another big-money fee in exchange for Veiga or if they would be better off using their funds elsewhere in order to strengthen their midfield options in advance of next season.

They are not the only club with a desire to bring Veiga to the Premier League, with Newcastle having also kept close tabs on his development in La Liga in recent months. There is also said to be concrete interest from several German top-flight clubs and it remains to be seen where the Celta playmaker will eventually end up when the bidding opens later this year.

It is also unclear if United will be prepared to shell out a £70m fee in order to bring Veiga to Old Trafford, with their summer recruitment strategy likely to depend on the plans of any potential new owners if their ongoing takeover process is completed as expected before the current campaign draws to a close. Ten Hag knows that cash is king in the Premier League and recently sent a message to the interested parties by highlighting the importance of spending power after the Glazers held back from splashing out on reinforcements during the January transfer window.

"For a long time I think the Premier League was always a two-horse race, but now I think it’s a six, seven, eight-horse race," said Ten Hag. "It’s about strategy but also, of course, it’s about finance. I am here to manage the team, to get the best out of them, and of course I have a job in bringing the right players in."

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