Man United agree deal for Aaron Wan-Bissaka: Reports, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Man United agree deal for Aaron Wan-Bissaka: Reports

But Owen and Mills have reservations about prospective $86m transfer

Manchester United are closing on a deal worth up to £50 million (S$86.1 million) for Crystal Palace right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, according to media reports yesterday.

The 21-year-old has made just 42 English Premier League appearances for the Eagles, but was a stand-out performer last season.

An initial fee of £45 million with an extra £5 million in add-ons has reportedly been agreed between the clubs, according to the reports.

That fee would make Wan-Bissaka the most expensive defender in United's history.

Former Manchester United and England striker Michael Owen has suggested that his former club have paid over the odds for someone who is not the finished product.

He said on Twitter: "I like Wan-Bissaka defensively, but he'll need to improve on the ball and going forward to justify the huge fee.

"I'd expect the finished article for that money."

Former Manchester City and England right-back Danny Mills seemed to agree, calling the prospective move a big gamble for the Red Devils.

He told Love Sport Radio: "When you're buying potential, of course things can go wrong - you try and do as much due diligence as you can, you watch as many of his games as possible, find out about his character, what he's like, all these type of things.

"But of course, if it's a £5million gamble, it's next to nothing in football these days - but £50-60million, that goes wrong, as they've seen with Alexis Sanchez through ludicrous wages, it does become a gamble.

"But this is the stage that Manchester United have got themselves into - having to pay over the odds for young players because they're in a desperate situation."

Meanwhile, former Palace players John Salako and Nigel Martyn have cautioned that Wan-Bissaka might be better served by continuing his development in London for a while longer.

Wan-Bissaka's former Palace youth coach Salako told talkSPORT: "You know, you say to your youngsters, play your 90, 100 games, learn your job, learn your trade..

"But Aaron hasn't played (that many games). He's come on leaps and bounds, and if he moves, he's going to be under massive pressure.

"Do you remember when Wilfried (Zaha) went to United?

"He was too young, too early, didn't settle in.

"He's got that massive pressure week in, week out, and he has to step up another level or two."

Wan-Bissaka's statistics, however, suggest that he could make the step up.

No fullback in the EPL has made more clearances, successful tackles, interceptions and dribbles than the young Englishman.


The league's all-time top scorer Alan Shearer and the man who is 13th on that list, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, both said that he would make their EPL Team of the Year and picked him as their choice for the league's Young Player of the Year - an award that eventually went to Raheem Sterling.

Shearer told the BBC: "The pressure that a young player is under is hard enough anyway, but to be in a team battling relegation and be the stand-out player, playing so many games and staying injury-free is magnificent."