Man Utd make 'unexpected' move for £34m ace who crushed Newcastle's Champions League dream

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Manchester United have launched a surprise swoop for AC Milan defender Fikayo Tomori, according to reports. Erik ten Hag is expected to recruit a new centre-back next year amid uncertainty surrounding Raphael Varane’s future, and Tomori could be in line for a Premier League return.

Varane’s United career has plunged into doubt this season after falling out of favour with Ten Hag, who has reinstated Harry Maguire as his first-choice right-sided centre-back.

And reports this week, revealing that the 30-year-old’s contract is due to expire next summer rather than in 2025, have boosted the chances of an exit as early as January.

It leaves United on the hunt for a long-term replacement to partner Lisandro Martinez once he returns from his lengthy injury problems.

Ten Hag’s first-choice target appears to be Tomori, who has flourished into one of Europe’s top centre-backs since leaving Chelsea for Milan.

The Serie A giants signed Tomori on loan in January 2021 before completing a £30million deal in the summer of that year.

According to Milan Live, United are now pressing to bring him back to the Premier League, and their interest could become increasingly stronger in the coming months.

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Fikayo Tomori is on Man Utd’s radar. (Image: Getty)

It’s claimed that the Red Devils view Tomori as a target for next summer rather than in January and can secure his signature if they offer a suitable salary.

The report adds that the 25-year-old’s Milan career could end abruptly and unexpectedly in 2024 due to the interest.

Milan are said to demand at least £34m to part ways with Tomori, who is under contract at the San Siro until 2027.

They reportedly may be forced to raise funds at the end of the season to fund upgrades for Stefano Pioli’s side and could ‘sacrifice’ the former Blues star.

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Raphael Varane is set to leave Man Utd next year. (Image: Getty)

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Tomori has earned five England caps and is vying for a starting berth in Gareth Southgate’s side at next summer’s Euro 2024 in Germany.

He caught the eye as Milan dumped Newcastle United out of Europe on Wednesday, helping the Italian outfit to a comeback 2-1 win in the Champions League group stage.

Tomori produced a sensational goal-saving tackle to deny Miguel Almiron in the first half before Christian Pulisic and Samuel Chukwueze ruled out Joelinton’s opener, sealing a Europa League play-off spot.

And the Cobham academy graduate could make a more permanent return to English shores if United’s early interest becomes concrete.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1845971/Man-Utd-transfer-news-Newcastle-Champions-League