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Manchester United targeting Eljif Elmas swoop

Manchester United could reportedly turn their towards Napoli playmaker Eljif Elmas before the end of the window, amid what is set to be a hectic week or so for the Premier League side.

What’s the word?

According to Italian outlet TUTTOmercatoWEB, the Red Devils are believed to be keen on the North Macedonia international, with the 22-year-old attracting interest from ‘several European clubs’ at present.

The report suggests that while United are currently in discussions regarding a move for Ajax winger, Antony, the club could also reach out to the Serie A side in order to try and land the 39-cap sensation.

Previous reports have suggested that the former Fenerbache man – who still has three years remaining on his existing deal in Naples – could cost in the region of 40m (£34m).

Ditch Van de Beek

The 6-foot playmaker has seemingly warranted that interest following his sparkling form in Italy of late, having notably chipped in with an impressive haul of seven goals and six assists in 46 games in all competitions last term.

Dubbed a “jewel” by his agent George Gardi, Elmas has particularly impressed due to his quality in possession, as he ranks in the top 3% for pass completion among those in his position across Europe’s top five leagues.

Despite the recent capture of Real Madrid star Casemiro, further midfield additions are seemingly needed following the departures of the likes of Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and Nemanja Matic at the end of last season, while both Fred and Scott McTominay have been deemed “not good enough” by pundit Roy Keane.

The £21.6m-rated man’s arrival at the Theatre of Dreams could also, however, hasten the departure of a figure who has endured a torrid time of it in English football thus far in Donny van de Beek, with the once-promising Dutchman now a simply forgotten figure in Manchester.

Plucked from Ajax on a £35m deal back in the summer of 2020, the 24-year-old has never appeared the right fit for United since then, with commentator Gareth Wheeler suggesting that he appears “uncomfortable” whenever he plays and “looks half the player he was” during his time in Amsterdam.

In truth, the £120k-per-week dud – who spent the second half of last season on loan at Everton – appears surplus to requirements at Old Trafford at present, with even the arrival of his former boss Erik ten Hag yet to inspire a change of fortunes.

Should United sign Elmas?

Yes!

Yes!

Not for me!

Not for me!

In his two-year spell at the club thus far, the £22.5m-rated man has been restricted to just 52 appearances – only 19 of which have come from the start – while producing a measly tally of just two goals and two assists in that time.

Although the likes of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick must shoulder some of the blame for failing to hand him a regular role in the side, Van de Beek himself has hardly made much of an impact when he has featured, notably being dubbed “anonymous” by journalist James Ducker following the pre-season draw with Aston Villa back in July.

That word seemingly epitomises his time at the club, with it seemingly best for all parties if he is moved on in the near future, despite still seemingly retaining the backing of supporters.

The exit can be made all the easier by bringing in Elmas in his place, with the Macedonian gem offering a potentially more confident and also versatile option, such is his ability to feature both in a central midfield role, an attacking midfield berth or on the flanks.

In truth, if Van de Beek isn’t going to even get a look in under compatriot Ten Hag, then his race truly is run at United.

Article title: Manchester United targeting Eljif Elmas swoop

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