Manchester United have an agreement to take Marcel Sabitzer on loan from Bayern Munich after Christian Eriksen sustained an ankle injury that could rule him out until early May.
Sabitzer has agreed terms and is due to join until the end of the season with no buy option, subject to a medical. He has boarded a flight to Manchester.
The 28-year-old Austria international joined Bayern from RB Leipzig in 2021 and has started seven Bundesliga games and three Champions League games this season. He plays predominantly as a central midfielder but can also be used in a more attacking role.
Erik ten Hag moved for Sabitzer after insisting Eriksen’s injury would not derail United’s season. Eriksen picked up the injury in a challenge by Reading’s Andy Carroll in Saturday’s 3-1 FA Cup victory at Old Trafford. Carroll was not booked, though he was later sent off. On Tuesday, United said Eriksen could be out for more than three months, the club’s disquiet with Carroll evident in the mention of his challenge in their statement.
Ten Hag said: “He’s disappointed, we are disappointed, but it happens in top football. It shouldn’t have happened, but it did and you have to deal with it.”
He believes United can cope without Eriksen. “You can never fill that [gap the same way] because every player has his own characteristics and identity. Another player will always fill it in a different way, but it doesn’t mean you have to be less successful. It’s quite clear Christian Eriksen brings top quality to our squad and he has some specifics that are hard to replace, such as his impact in the final third with his final ball.”
One deputy may be Fred. “He’s playing together with Casemiro in the Brazil squad,” Ten Hag said. “That’s not the worst squad in the world. They have so many choices they can make but they often prefer to play [them] together and that tells something about the quality Fred has and what he can contribute.”
United said Eriksen was “caught by a tackle from Reading striker Andy Carroll. While investigations are continuing, initial assessments indicate that Eriksen is likely to be out until late April or early May.”
Ten Hag expects to have Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho, who has not played since October, in his squad for Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg at home to Nottingham Forest. - Guardian