Manchester United and Chelsea have inquired about the signing of Bayern Munich midfielder Marcel Sabitzer, according to Sky Germany.
United’s need for a midfielder intensified after Christian Eriksen has been ruled out with injury until at least April. Chelsea have been working on a move for Enzo Fernandez from Benfica but this agreement has not yet been fully concluded.
Bayern are ready to let Sabitzer go on loan or on a permanent basis and their sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has phoned the two Premier League clubs.
United are waiting for Bayern to decide if they will do business. United’s preference is a loan and that could work for Bayern as Sabitzer still has two and a half years left on his contract.
The fact that United and Bayern are in different European competitions and not direct rivals could be a key factor in any possible deal.
Austrian international Sabitzer joined Bayern from RB Leipzig in the summer of 2021 but has only played seven Bundesliga games so far this season.
Primarily a central midfielder, the 28-year-old has also played as a defensive midfielder, attacking midfielder, second striker and winger during his career.
Merse: Sabitzer is not in the Bayern team – panic!
Sky Sports’ Paul Merson speaking on Deadline Day:
“Marcel Sabitzer doesn’t come into the Bayern Munich squad. I know they have a cemented two in midfield, but if he was that good he would push. Again, it comes down to panic. There was no interest in him on January 1st.
“Chelsea are trying to get Enzo Fernandez over the line and Christian Eriksen is now injured at Man United. There’s panic. You’re buying second-rate players from Bayern Munich.
“This boy hasn’t been on the radar before. He’s not coming into the Bayern squad – far from their first team. You have to ask yourself ‘is he going to make us better?’ I am not sure.”
Ten Hag: Eriksen’s quality will be missed
Eriksen left Old Trafford on crutches after being sent off in FA Cup victory on Saturday against Reading and now looks set to miss a significant part of United’s run-in.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of United’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg with Nottingham Forest, Erik ten Hag explained he had options to cover for Eriksen’s absence – but admitted that it would be difficult to replace the Dane’s quality in the attacking areas.
“He’s disappointed and we’re disappointed, but it happens in top-flight football. You have to deal with it,” the United boss said.
“We have players in midfield, good players, who can fill the void. Each player has his own characteristics and identity. Eriksen brings the best quality to our team and some characteristics are difficult to replace, for example his quality in the last third.”
Chelsea close to record £105m Fernandez deal
Chelsea are close to agreeing a deal for Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez after making an offer of £105.6m – the same value as the midfielder’s release clause.
Todd Boehly’s Blues want to structure that release clause fee in installments because paying it all at once has financial fair play and tax implications.
Chelsea have been in talks to sign the Argentina World Cup winner throughout this month, but Benfica had refused to do any business unless the Blues pay the €120m release clause (105, £6 million).
The midfielder once again told Benfica that he wants to join Chelsea. If Fernandez moved to Stamford Bridge, it would top the £100m Manchester City paid for Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish 18 months ago, making him the most expensive signing in Premier League history.
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