Tyrell Malacia of Netherlands during the UEFA Nations League League A Group 4 match between Wales and Netherlands at Cardiff City Stadium on June 8, 2022 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. – GETTY IMAGES
Manchester United have launched a dramatic attempt to sign Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia despite the Dutch international apparently being on the brink of moving to Lyon.
The 22-year-old is seen as a back-up to, and eventual replacement for, Luke Shaw, with Alex Telles having failed to impress last season.
New United manager Erik ten Hag is a known, long-term admirer of the youngster and had attempted to sign him when in charge of his former club Ajax.
Malacia is destined to leave his first, and so far only, club this summer with Feyenoord having accepted a £13 million offer from French side Lyon at the start of the week.
However, it became apparent on Tuesday afternoon that United had made a dramatic late intervention in that deal and had, similarly, agreed to meet Feyenoord’s asking price, with a more favourable up-front offer than the one offered by their French rivals.
Ultimately, the decision rests with Malacia as to which of the two suitors to join.
Malacia, who made his senior debut for Feyenoord when only 18, has been capped five times by the Netherlands and is viewed as one of the country’s brightest young defenders.
Malacia was not at pre-season training with Feyenoord on Monday, having been granted extra leave after a summer of international duty.
But his manager Arne Slot conceded that a move was likely. Slot is believed to be interested in Chelsea’s Dutch full-back Ian Maatsen, who spent last season on loan with Coventry, as a replacement.
Malacia also shares the same agent as United target Frenkie de Jong and the extended negotiations over the midfielder’s signing have enabled the Premier League side to monitor the Malacia situation.
Ironically, considering that United have been in dialogue with Barcelona over De Jong’s signing for over seven weeks now, it appears that Malacia, rather than his countryman, may now prove to be Ten Hag’s first signing at Old Trafford.
While the Malacia move came as a surprise development, United’s protracted attempts to confirm the signing of De Jong continued simultaneously.
The clubs appear now to have settled on a financial structure for the transfer, which would see United guarantee a basic 65 million euros (£56m) up front.
Add-ons and performance-related bonuses could eventually take the package up to Barcelona’s original asking price of 85 million euros (£73.4m).