Manchester United’s need for a midfielder intensified after Christian Eriksen was ruled out with an injury until at least April. Chelsea have been working on a move for Enzo Fernandez from Benfica.
Man United and Chelsea want to sign Sabitzer
According to reports, Manchester United and Chelsea have inquired about the signing of Bayern Munich midfielder Marcel Sabitzer. United’s need for a midfielder intensified after Christian Eriksen was ruled out with an injury until at least April. Chelsea have been working on a move for Enzo Fernandez from Benfica, but the deal has yet to be fully agreed upon. Bayern are ready to let Sabitzer go on loan or permanent residence, and their sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has been on the phone with both Premier League clubs. United are waiting for Bayern to decide whether they will do business – although the Manchester Evening News reports that United are “confident” they can complete the deal before the deadline. United’s preference is a loan that could work for Bayern, as Sabitzer still has two and a half years left on his contract.
Christian Eriksen is now injured at Man United
The fact that United and Bayern are in different European competitions and not direct rivals could be one key factor in any possible deal. Austria international Sabitzer joined Bayern from RB Leipzig in the summer of 2021 but has only started seven games in the Bundesliga this season. Predominantly a central midfielder, the 28-year-old has also played as a defensive midfielder, attacking midfielder, second striker and winger throughout his career. “Marcel Sabitzer doesn’t get in the Bayern Munich squad. I know they have two cemented in midfield, but he would be pushing if he were that good. Again it goes back to panic. There was no interest in him on January 1. Chelsea are trying to get Enzo Fernandez off the line, and Christian Eriksen is now injured at Man United. It’s a panic. You’re buying second-rate players from Bayern Munich.”
You cannot replace Eriksen one-for-one
“This guy hasn’t been on the radar before. He’s not in the Bayern team – not their first team anywhere. You have to ask, ‘will he make us better?’ “I’m not sure. He has big steps behind Eriksen, but he can try his best. Definitely, you cannot replace Eriksen one-for-one. He is a player with potential, and he is essential for the Austrian national team. Marcel was an important player when he played at Leipzig “who have also been in the Champions League a few times, and Sabitzer has been one of the key players. He can help for sure. But to replace Eriksen, it’s waiting to be seen.” Eriksen left Old Trafford on crutches after being ousted in Saturday’s FA Cup win over Reading and now looks set to miss a significant amount of United’s run-in.
Speaking in a press conference ahead of United’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Nottingham Forest, Erik ten Hag explained that he had options to cover Eriksen’s absence – but admitted it would be difficult to replace the Dane’s quality in attacking areas. “He’s disappointed, and we’re disappointed, but this happens in top football. This has to be dealt with,” the United boss said. “We have good players in midfield who can fill the gap. Each player has their own characteristics and identity. Eriksen brings top quality to our team, and some characteristics are hard to replace, like his quality in the final third.”