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Friday 6 December 2019

United swoop into Eagles' nest to sign Wan-Bissaka

Aaron Wan-Bissaka suits Ole Gunnar’s style
Aaron Wan-Bissaka suits Ole Gunnar’s style

Crystal Palace right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka is to join Manchester United on a five-year deal, with the option of a further season, worth up to £50million.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are attempting to kick-start their summer rebuild by signing the talented 21-year-old right-back, having so far only brought in Daniel James from Swansea.

Significant progress was made during talks between United and Palace on Tuesday, with an initial fee of £45m agreed along with a further £5m in add-ons.

A medical will be sorted sooner rather than later to complete the signing of Wan-Bissaka, who is seen behind the scenes at Old Trafford as someone who will fit in Solskjaer's style and get fans on their feet - even as a right-back. An announcement is expected today.

A young, exciting talent, United have worked solidly to reach an agreement with Palace and are now looking to make more additions that will complement the current squad. Wan-Bissaka's return from the Under-21 European Championships should smooth the final stages of the deal, although his role in England's group-stage exit is not something he will want reminding of.

The right-back endured a difficult time in Italy, where Aidy Boothroyd overlooked him for the Young Lions' last two group matches after his late own goal in the opener against France led to a 2-1 loss.

The under-21s boss believes Wan-Bissaka's error in that match may have been down to the ongoing speculation about his club future.

"For a young player, who all he knows is Crystal Palace academy and Crystal Palace, it would be daft not to say that in some way he must think about it," Boothroyd said.

"I would not be truthful if I told you anything other than that. What I will say is because he doesn't say too much you don't get to find out too much. Aaron keeps things to himself."

It is a big fee for a player yet to make his senior international debut and only made his first appearance for Palace 16 months ago.

Appearances

Wan-Bissaka has made 46 club appearances in all competitions for the south London outfit, where he won the club's Player of the Season and Players' Player of the Season awards.

The 21-year-old also collected the PFA Community Champion Award at the end-of-season awards in May.

Palace believe they have succeeded in securing the best deal possible for Wan-Bissaka, even though they failed to achieve one of their chief goals in what became protracted negotiations.

Palace are content with the deal that includes add-ons that they believe are all achievable for the 21-year-old full-back.

The additional payments that Palace will be entitled to will kick in after a set number of games played by the young defender, after United's initial attempts to link the clauses to success for their team were rejected by Palace.

However, the stand-off over Wilfried Zaha's contract clause appears to have been won by United, with Old Trafford chiefs standing firm on their agreement for a cut of any future sale of the winger who is expected to be the subject of transfer offers this summer.

Zaha is reportedly keen to move on from Palace to realise his ambition of playing Champions League football and while Tottenham have been linked with a move for the 26-year-old, Liverpool goal-scoring great John Aldridge believes his former club should make a move for the player.

"Zaha has given Liverpool some real problems in the last couple of years and Jurgen Klopp's ability to turn talents of his type into consistent performers has to make him the kind of player who could thrive at Anfield," he stated.

Wages

"With Daniel Sturridge leaving the club and his huge wages coming off the weekly bill, it opens up the opportunity for Klopp to sign a goalscorer as cover if one of the front three is injured or out of form."

There have been some reports that United might consider a bid to bring Zaha back to Old Trafford, but we understand that prospect was not raised in the discussions over Wan-Bissaka's move to United.

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