Home Manchester United Solskjaer identifies£45m AFCON star as United’s perfect holding midfielder

Solskjaer identifies£45m AFCON star as United’s perfect holding midfielder


Manchester United defensive midfield target AC Milan’s Ismael Bennacer is available for €50 million (around £45m) despite reports to the contrary.

The former Arsenal youth player has attracted a number of the world’s top clubs after a successful start to his career in Milan, for whom he has played 24 games this season following a €15 million (£13.5m) move from Serie B side Empoli.

The Algerian was voted player of the tournament in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations as he helped his country to win the title for the first time on foreign soil.

Cold water was thrown over rumours linking the 22-year-old to United, neighbours Manchester City, PSG and Real Madrid earlier this month when it was reported that his £45 million release clause did not become active until 2021.

However, footmercato.com claims that these reports were incorrect and that in fact the buyout clause will be active in the next transfer window.

‘Despite all the transalpine media specializing in the transfer window recently publishing … information concerning a clause valid from 2021, the reality is quite different,’ the outlet claims.

‘Indeed, according to our information, Bennacer has a clause that is valid this summer.

‘Considered untransferable by [AC Milan’s] future coach Ralf Rangnick, the native of Arles, France will be one of the main attractions of this summer transfer window.’

The Athletic’s David Ornstein recently reported that United are prioritising the holding midfield position along with the right wing position for the forthcoming transfer window, so Bennacer’s name is one that will be high on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s shortlist.

The £45 million price point makes the Algerian arguably one of the best value defensive midfielders under consideration, along with Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey, who also has the same buyout fee.

Atletico Madrid are reportedly offering to triple Partey’s £33,000 per week wage – slightly higher than that of Bennacer – to keep him at the club.

West Ham’s Declan Rice, Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi, Rennes’ 17-year-old prodigy Eduardo Camavinga, Borussia Moenchengladbach’s Denis Zakaria and Benfica’s Florentino Luis have all also been reported to be on the Red Devils’ shortlist.

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