Man Utd deal dead in the water as target signs new deal and insists ‘I’m happy here’ | Football | Sport

Manchester United’s reported pursuit of Federico Dimarco appears to be dead before the January transfer window opens. The Inter Milan star has signed a new contract with the Italian giants and insists he is happy at the club.

Dimarco had reportedly been targeted as part of United’s plans to strengthen their defence in January. Erik ten Hag is desperate for reinforcements in that area after seeing his side concede 27 goals in their opening 20 Premier League matches.

Left-back Dimarco would have provided competition to Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia, while he can also play in the centre of defence. It is unclear if Sergio Reguilon’s loan from Tottenham will be cut short, with United having an option to terminate the agreement this month.

Inter have confirmed that the 26-year-old has penned fresh terms that will extend his stay until 2027. Dimarco has told the club’s dedicated television channel that he is happy at the club, who are two points clear at the top of Serie A.

“I’m actually happy with what I’m doing, the team’s objectives are more important. I’m happy with how we’re going, and we hope to continue like this,” he said.

“There have been many beautiful moments in these years spent together, if I have to think of one, I think of the Italian Cup final, after the victory against Juve, when I sang together with them (the fans).

“If I had to say something, I would tell them that they have to put up with me for a few more years.”

United are expected to prioritise rejuvenating their defence in January despite missing out on Dimarco. A new centre-back could be signed, with Jean-Clair Todibo of Jim Ratcliffe-owned Nice linked with a switch.

However, Ten Hag will likely have a tiny budget to work with as he attempts to overhaul a dismal first half of 2023-24. United might need to offload players in order to sign new stars to avoid a Financial Fair Play breach.

Raphael Varane’s impending departure will go some way to helping that cause. According to the Daily Mail, United have decided that the Frenchman can leave for free when his contract expires in the summer.

Varane will be able to speak with foreign clubs about a pre-contract agreement in January, with a free transfer move kicking in at the end of the campaign. His departure will open a gap at centre-back, a position that will almost certainly be strengthened this year.

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