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Man Utd transfer news: Erik ten Hag’s ideal Mathys Tel alternative revealed

Cameron Smith
Mathys Tel, Man Utd, Bayern, 2023/24
© IMAGO

Manchester United’s hopes of signing Bayern Munich wonderkid Mathys Tel have been dashed following news that Thomas Tuchel will leave the club this summer and Max Eberl’s recent arrival as board member for sport.

Eberl has placed a large emphasis on building Bayern’s squad around the best young talents from around the globe and Tel certainly fits that profile.

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Furthermore, Tuchel’s imminent departure has provided another obstacle for Man Utd to overcome given Tel has barely played under the ex-Chelsea boss and may have sought an exit this summer if he had remained in charge.

However, Tel now looks almost certain to stay at the Allianz Arena for the foreseeable future. Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has confirmed as much, admitting: “One of the priorities at Bayern is to keep Mathys Tel at the club. We had rumours on Man Utd weeks ago, but I told you guys, there is nothing between Man Utd and Mathys Tel.

“There was a meeting between Gadiri Camara, the agent of Mathys Tel, and Bayern director Christoph Freund, a very positive meeting. Bayern told Mathys Tel that they don’t want him to leave, they want him to be an important part of the project.

“The boy wants to stay, he wants to be an important part of Bayern’s future and so Mathys Tel is staying at Bayern.”

As a result, Man Utd will have to move on and pursue an alternative this summer. If they want a like-for-like alternative to Tel, then Royal Antwerp’s George Ilenikhena would be an interesting choice.

The 17-year-old is French, like Tel, and is currently showing some very encouraging signs.

George Ilenikhena to Man Utd?

Ilenikhena has not been a regular starter at Antwerp this season, so a move to Old Trafford may be too premature this summer, but he has made a huge impact during his time on the pitch in 2023-24.

The teenager has 14 goals in all competitions so far this season, netting once every 109 minutes on average.

He joined Antwerp for €6 million from Amiens SC last summer and his move to Belgium has paid off massively thus far. Ilenikhena has excellent movement inside the penalty area, is a natural finisher and his skillset is brilliant for someone so young.

A move to PSV currently ranks as his best option according to data analytics experts SciSports, but Man Utd would be wise to sign him soon before he becomes a household name and his transfer value skyrockets.

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