Man Utd bid deadline extended as suitors prepare offers
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Manchester United have transformed their fortunes this season under Erik ten Hag, with the Dutchman bringing in a host of star players following his arrival at the club last summer. And the Red Devils nearly got the better of Liverpool in the transfer market in January as both sides chased World Cup ace Sofyan Amrabat. But, despite Reds manager Jurgen Klopp having a secret meeting with the player’s agent earlier this year, both north west teams ended up missing out on the Morocco international as he ultimately stayed at Fiorentina.
Amrabat was one of the stars of last year’s World Cup in Qatar as he helped his country top Group F of the tournament before knocking out Spain and Portugal on their way to reaching the semi-finals. The 26-year-old was hot property after the tournament came to an end, with Klopp travelling to meet the midfielder’s agent, according to The Mirror, in an attempt to thrash out a deal for his client.
But Amrabat’s brother Nordin, who used to play for Watford and now plies his trade with AEK Athens, has revealed United came close to landing the ace.
“I can name three clubs who were concrete in the last two or three days of the transfer window,” Amrabat told Voetbal Primeur. “Manchester United wanted a loan with an option to buy deal, Fiorentina rejected.
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“That fell through because Fiorentina didn’t want that. Barcelona also came with a loan two or three days before the transfer market closed. But due to financial problems, they could not offer a mandatory option to buy. And the third was Chelsea.”
And the elder of the two Amrabat brothers explained that Barcelona were the club his younger brother was desperate to join: “Barca were willing to pay a good loan fee, so Sofyan was really hopeful that it would go through,” the 35-year-old added. “But Fiorentina said ‘no, no way, you are one of our most important players. We are not going to let you go now.’
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“In the summer we can talk about a transfer. If Barcelona come forward, you just want to make that move. And if Barcelona don’t buy you, someone else will buy you. Fiorentina would cash in anyway.”
United eventually turned their attention to Bayern Munich ace Marcel Sabitzer after missing out on Amrabat. And the Austria international has featured nine times for the Old Trafford outfit after joining the club on loan at the end of January. Liverpool, meanwhile, could be ruing their transfer misfortune as their struggles on the pitch have continued this year. Klopp’s team have won just 12 Premier League games this campaign and are seven points adrift of the top four.
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