Manchester United have failed with an attempted swap deal involving Facundo Pellistri for Sporting Lisbon midfielder Morten Hjulmand, according to reports. Erik ten Hag is expected to sign a successor to Casemiro this year amid speculation about the 31-year-old’s future, with Hjulmand emerging as a candidate.
Casemiro turns 32 next month and has been far from his best when fit this season, dragging his £70million transfer in 2022 into questioning.
There is interest from Saudi Arabia expected to be acted upon in the summer transfer window when the Saudi Pro League stages the next phase of its European football revolution.
And United are reportedly already positioning themselves to cover Casemiro’s potential departure with a signing of their own.
According to The Sun, the Red Devils have offered Pellistri to Sporting as part of a swap deal for Hjulmand this month.
However, the Portuguese giants rejected the approach, directing suitors towards the 24-year-old midfielder’s £69m release clause.
It’s claimed that United have sent scouts to watch Hjulmand at least six times in the Primeira Liga and Europa League this season.
The report adds that Ten Hag hopes that the two-cap Denmark international’s close relationship with Christian Eriksen can help lure him to Old Trafford.
Fellow countryman Rasmus Hojlund arrived for £72m last summer, but Eriksen is said to have mentored Hjulmand on international duty.
Pellistri has been linked with a United exit in the January transfer window, with PSV Eindhoven among the clubs reportedly interested in a loan swoop.
The 22-year-old has started just three games this season, though, and there is a chance he departs on a permanent basis.
He is behind £86m signing Antony, Alejandro Garnacho and now arguably Amad Diallo, since his return from injury, in Ten Hag’s right-wing pecking order.
United’s reported offer to Sporting suggests they would be happy to sanction a move almost four years after his £9m arrival from Penarol.