Manchester United holding talks with Aaron Wan-Bissaka
Crystal Palace 21-year-old defender has indicated his preference is a move to United
Manchester United are holding talks with Aaron Wan-Bissaka over a possible move from Crystal Palace. Photo: Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images
Manchester United are holding further talks with Crystal Palace this weekend aimed at agreeing a fee for Aaron Wan-Bissaka after the player indicated his preference would be a summer move to Old Trafford.
An opening bid for the England Under-21 international that would have been worth in excess of £40m was rejected by the south London club earlier this month, but United remain intent upon securing Wan-Bissaka as a key component in a revamp of their back-line. The 21-year-old is under contract until 2022 and Palace had no great desire to sell, but the youth-team graduate has made clear to his current employers that he would be keen to seize what he considers might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The opening offer had included various potential bonus and additional payments which made the overall package more appealing, but Palace will only countenance a sale if the fee to be received is guaranteed to be in excess of £50m. Intriguingly, they could explore whether it would be feasible to remove a sell-on clause agreed when Wilfried Zaha was sold by United back to Palace in early 2015 as part of the negotiations. That would effectively serve to bolster the potential fee further towards £60m.
Wan-Bissaka, originally a winger, enjoyed an eye-catching first full season in senior football last term after graduating through the south London club’s academy, excelling at right-back and making 39 appearances in all competitions. The defender is currently preparing for the summer’s junior European Championships in Italy and San Marino, with United hopeful they will eventually add him to Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s options, with Antonio Valencia among 14 players to be released when their contracts expire at the end of the month. They have already secured the young Wales winger, Daniel James, from Swansea City.
Palace are already exploring their options over a replacement for Wan-Bissaka, and contact has been made with the Belgian international Timothy Castagne. The Atalanta defender, capped five times, has spent the last two seasons in Serie A and made 28 top-flight appearances as they finished third and qualified for the Champions League last season. – Guardian