Sky Germany journalist Florian Plettenberg has confirmed that Manchester United are still “exploring a deal” to bring Monaco defender Axel Disasi to Old Trafford.
However, Plettenberg also claims that Premier League rivals Newcastle are currently leading the race for the Frenchman as United need to sell a player first before they can pursue the centre-back:
Understand, Newcastle pushing a lot for Axel #Disasi!
➡️ Concrete talks between #NUFC & Monaco took place and are ongoing.
— Florian Plettenberg (@Plettigoal) July 15, 2023
Disasi is expected to cost around €50m (£43m) and, due to United’s restricted transfer budget, it means that a move must be funded by offloading someone like Harry Maguire.
The club have reportedly slapped a £40m price tag on the 30-year-old, with the likes of Tottenham and West Ham said to be interested in securing the player’s services.
Following the sale of Declan Rice for £105m, the Hammers would probably be the team best placed to match the valuation.
Why are United pursuing Disasi?
The centre-half had a good season for Monaco, having also been capped by France at senior level for the first time during the World Cup in Qatar last year.
Disasi is also pretty versatile. Whilst he is most comfortable playing in the middle of defence, he can be deployed at right-back too, and he would offer manager Erik ten Hag more flexibility in terms of his tactical options.
With Newcastle seemingly pushing ahead with a deal for the player, though, the Red Devils are in danger of missing out on one of their targets. If they want to rival the Magpies for Disasi, they will need to get Maguire or another player off the club’s books quickly.