Man Utd ‘battle Newcastle’ for ex-Chelsea star after Barcelona hold transfer meeting | Football | Sport

Manchester United are expected to view a new centre-back as a priority in the summer transfer window amid uncertainty surrounding a few of Erik ten Hag’s current options. And the Dutchman has included Andreas Christensen on his shortlist as Barcelona consider offloading the former Chelsea star, according to reports.

Raphael Varane will likely leave this summer if he doesn’t agree to a new contract with fresh, reduced terms after United opted against triggering the 12-month extension in his current deal.

The experienced Frenchman, 30, finds himself in the same situation as David de Gea last summer before he ended his 11-year Old Trafford career.

While United did trigger Victor Lindelof’s extension, there is a belief that could be in order to retain the 29-year-old’s value and generate a transfer fee, similar to Fred in August.

Harry Maguire has enjoyed a surprise renaissance this season, but it remains to be seen whether Ten Hag would be happy to sanction his exit if a suitable offer arrives, given he turns 31 in March.

And Jonny Evans only penned a one-year contract when he returned to United last year, meaning he is also scheduled to depart.

Ten Hag’s situation leaves him needing at least one, potentially two, centre-halves ahead of his third season in charge.

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And his search for a right-sided option could lead to Catalonia, where Christensen faces an uncertain future of his own at Barcelona.

According to Spanish outlet Sport, Barcelona want to shake up their centre-back department to pave the way for Chadi Riad’s return from Real Betis.

The Blaugrana are said to need to sell at least two senior players to clear space; one of them a centre-back, given Xavi’s over-crowded department.

It’s claimed that Christensen is the subject of interest in a Premier League return, just two years after leaving Chelsea on a free transfer.

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