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Man United leading race to seal Fernandez swoop

Exciting transfer news has emerged for Manchester United and Erik ten Hag in what could be a monumental Christmas present for the trophy-chasing Premier League outfit…

Enzo Fernandez has emerged as one of the most sought-after stars after his exploits at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, but United’s interest stems from soil preceding the international tournament, with 90min labelling the club as keen observers at the start of last month.

And in recent days, journalist Bruno Andrade has suggested that United have overtaken Liverpool in the race to sign the talented midfielder who possesses a seismic €120m (£105m) release clause.

Should United seal a deal, it could allude to a watershed moment at the Theatre of Dreams, cementing the maiden period of Ten Hag’s reign with a signing fit to steer the club towards success scarcely seen since the retirement of coveted manager Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013 after 26 years in charge.

Imagine him & Gakpo

Upon the conclusion of the World Cup, Fernandez sauntered up the steps of the milky white podium to claim his Best Young Player award, having basked in the glory of triumph on the biggest stage mere moments before. 

United already held intrigue, but his performances would have done little to deter a forthcoming bid, despite the inevitable spike in price for the SL Benfica phenom. 

Indeed, rated at £17.6m in September by Transfermarkt, Fernandez now perches among the very elite of football’s prodigious talent with a value of £48.4m.

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Manchester-United-star-Marcus-Rashford

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For Benfica this term, the midfield maestro has clinched three goals and five assists from his deep-lying role, creating two goals in the Champions League against Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus

The 21-year-old transferred his golden form at club level to Qatar, where he flourished with Argentina despite his tender age and played a pivotal role in merging with the likes of Lionel Messi to secure his country’s third World Cup trophy. 

As per Sofascore, the “beast” – as lauded by CBS Sports’ Ives Galarcep – recorded an impressive rating of 7.10 for his nation, snatching a glorious goal and an assist while completing 88% of his passes and making 3.1 tackles per outing – an all-encompassing demonstration of his refined ability. 

Should United prove successful in their pursuit of the ten-cap gem, he could merge seamlessly with another Red Devils target in Cody Gakpo, who had a fine international tournament himself with the Netherlands, netting three times. 

Gakpo occupies an offensive role on the left flank, drifting inside and using his pace and towering presence to bypass defences and shower goals and assists onto his opposition.

For PSV Eindhoven this term, the 23-year-old has an incredible 13 goals and 17 assists from 24 displays, and with Fernandez pulling the strings from the centre of the park, it could open the door for similar success at Old Trafford.