Manchester United looking towards Atalanta for Marouane Fellaini replacement?

Manchester United are reportedly interested in signing on loan Atalanta midfielder Bryan Cristante as a possible replacement for Marouane Fellaini according to reports. It has been suggested that United’s Belgian midfielder has rejected his latest contract offer with the player being out of contract in the summer. He could even sign a pre-contract agreement as soon as the 1st January 2018, if he is to leave the Premier League for another European league, or even further abroad.

United manager Jose Mourinho has suggested that he would rather Fellaini remain at the Old Trafford club but he will move, if necessary, to ensure a replacement is at the club ahead of his possible departure. Cristante, a Benfica player on loan with the Serie A outfit but have a potential deal to sign the player for £10 million at the end of the season, could trigger that in order to sell the player to United, possibly even making a lot more money on the potential departure.

Cristante is one of a number of players impressing in the Serie A this season, which is good to see. It is in the UEFA Europa League where the player has shown the best of his abilities, scoring three goals in the two matches against Everton in the group stages, one back in September and two in the recent match at Goodison Park with Atalanta scoring eight goals; 3-0 and 5-1 victories, against the Merseyside club.

There are other teams who have a reported interest in Cristante, namely Juventus, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid, none of them interested in paying the £31 million asking price Atalanta will set after making the deal to sign the player permanent, which is expected next month when the winter transfer window opens. Perhaps Benfica will rue doing a deal to sell the player receiving such a minuscule fee, especially when the Italian side can effectively triple their money in a short matter of time.

The report has suggested that Cristante would be open to a move to the Premier League with the 22-year-old seeking a chance to play alongside one of his idols, Paul Pogba. Cristante started his career in Italy, playing for Milan, making his debut in 2014, replacing Kaka. After just one season at the San Siro, the player moved to Benfica. This season will be the one which defines him, raising his game at Atalanta and scoring eight goals in 17 appearances for the Serie A strugglers, sitting tenth in the table after 14 games.

copyright: JW