Man Utd 'launch first transfer hijack of summer' at expense of two Premier League rivals

Man Utd are interested in Tosin Adarabioyo. (Image: Getty)

Manchester United are reportedly stepping up their interest in Fulham defender Tosin Adarabioyo ahead of a potential free transfer this summer. The Red Devils could complete the first hijack of the transfer window by sealing a bargain deal for the Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur target.

INEOS are expected to oversee a defensive overhaul at the end of the season following an injury-stricken season of struggle.

Raphael Varane has already confirmed that he will depart as a free agent when his contract expires in June. Jonny Evans’ deal is also up on the same date.

Meanwhile, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof are entering the final 12 months of their contracts and will both be in their thirties at the start of next season.

At least one will likely leave Old Trafford in the coming months, opening the door for more than one central defensive recruit to arrive.

And while United have been linked with big-money swoops for the likes of Jarrad Branthwaite, Jean-Clair Todibo and Marc Guehi, Adarabioyo represents an enticing option.

According to Sky Sports, the 26-year-old is among the centre-backs being looked at by United, who are keen to open talks when his contract expires this summer.

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Jason Wilcox knows Tosin Adarabioyo from Man City. (Image: Getty)

The M16 giants reportedly view the centre of their defence as a priority position to address, but they aren’t alone in circling Adarabioyo.

Reports claim Newcastle and Tottenham are among the clubs pursuing a bargain deal for the England U19 international, with the former thought to be leading the race.

United’s interest could blow their rivals out of the water, though, despite the likelihood that there will be no European football on offer at Old Trafford next season.

Adarabioyo’s agent was reportedly present at Sunday’s 1-0 defeat against Arsenal, sparking further speculation about his arrival.

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Jason Wilcox started his role as United’s technical director earlier this year, quitting as Southampton’s sporting director to join Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s new-look structure.

He is expected to have a central role in the club’s summer transfer dealings, with chief executive Omar Berrada not arriving until July 13.

Dan Ashworth is penned to get to work even later as Newcastle dig their heels in over a compensation package to release him from gardening leave early.

Wilcox already has a relationship with Adarabioyo from his stint in Manchester City’s academy set-up, and likely has the tools to persuade him that United is the right move.