United Targets Set to Move On
News of two past targets for Manchester United, both of whom could be on their way out of their present clubs.
United ears will have pricked up at the news that Christian Eriksen is in no hurry to sign a new deal with Ajax. The 20-year-old Denmark international has been linked with interest from Old Trafford in the past but has always insisted he will stay with Ajax for the time being saying he was not ready for life in one of Europe’s big leagues. That now seems to have changed and while Ajax want him to sign a new contract, Eriksen now appears to be considering life away from the Dutch champions:
“I have not actually said I won’t stay but what I have said to them is that I want to keep my options open,” he told Sporten.dk in Denmark. “ I will leave at some time but when it will happen I don’t know.
“I still have a contract until 2014 and I feel fine at Ajax. I understand that they will try to extend my deal but I also feel that eventually I will try something new. My agent is currently talking to the club and I have not said yes or no to anything.”
Ajax director of football Marc Overmars says the club is keen for him to renew.
“We would like Christian to sign a new contract with us, but it’s not something he wants. We will see what happens after this year.
“Right now there is nothing concrete. No clubs have contacted me with an offer yet. For Christian it is important to choose the right club and I believe that Ajax and Christian together can take the right step for him.”
United were linked with Eriksen including during the summer, but he scotched rumours of a departure and while he committed his future to Ajax he could not see beyond the end of the current season.
“I think the best thing for me will be to play for Ajax next season,” he told Goal.com in June.
“I need to play and develop rather than rush in to a big step and make a mistake.
“I would like to play in one of the big leagues – the Premier League, La Liga or Serie A – but I’m only 20 and I have time. I’ve seen players move too soon.”
Another former United target set to move on is Udinese’s Mehdi Benatia. The defensive midfielder has been linked in the past with United, Spurs and French side Paris Saint-Germain, but reports from Italy claim he is about to leave Udinese but for another Serie A side – Juventus.
The two clubs have begun talks about a January move for Benatia with Juventus seemingly ready to pay a £12million transfer fee.