Man Utd: £105m duo could become 'fallback options' at Old Trafford

New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag on the touchline

Manchester United could turn to Youri Tielemans or Ruben Neves if they miss out on one of their main midfield targets this summer, believes transfer insider Dean Jones.

The Red Devils have been heavily linked with Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong and Brentford’s Christian Eriksen, but Jones says you cannot rule out the above names.

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According to The Telegraph, United and Barcelona remain £17m apart in their valuations of De Jong, who is Erik ten Hag’s priority target.

The same outlet states that the Spanish club want to recoup the £73.8m they paid Ajax for the Dutchman back in 2019, while United only want to spend £55.8m on him.

As well as De Jong, the newspaper claims the Manchester club also have an interest in Christian Eriksen and Ruben Neves.

It is believed that Wolves want £70m for Neves but may have to settle for a fee between £40m and £50m.

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What has Jones said about United’s transfer plans?

If United cannot sign both De Jong and Eriksen, Jones can see them turning their attention to Neves or Tielemans.

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the journalist said: “United’s issue is if they don’t land these two, then it looks like whatever else happens is a fallback option. It’s not as good as what they wanted. But let’s not rule out Tielemans, Ruben Neves, these players that they’ve been linked to for a long time.”

Are Neves and Tielemans good alternatives?

Yes, they are. Both are Premier League proven and bring a lot of quality to the middle of the park.

Neves has a really good passing range, with the Portugal international averaging the most long balls per game in his side last season (via WhoScored), while Tielemans is also great at moving the ball forward.

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As per FBref, he has ranked in the 88th percentile for progressive passes among midfielders over the last year.

The Leicester City star is also out of contract next year so could be sold at a cut price this summer, with The Telegraph claiming that interested clubs would be looking at £35m max to acquire his signature.

When you consider all of the above, Neves and Tielemans are certainly not bad players for United to look at if they need an alternative to De Jong or Eriksen, who do seem to be Ten Hag’s preferred choices right now.

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