Manchester United will bring at least one new central midfielder to the club before the end of this summer's transfer window.
Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic are set to leave Old Trafford on free transfers at the end of June, and although Donny van de Beek is expected to be given the chance to prove himself next season, new head coach Erik ten Hag is said to be determined to boost his options in that area.
With that in mind, Sports Mole picks out five players that Man United could target in the upcoming market to boost their midfield.
Frenkie de Jong's future is currently the subject of much speculation, with Man United said to be keen to bring the Netherlands international to Old Trafford during this summer's transfer window.
The 25-year-old was again an important player for Barcelona during the 2021-22 campaign, making 46 appearances in all competitions, contributing four goals and five assists.
De Jong still has more than four years left to run on his contract at Camp Nou, but there have been claims that he could be sold in order to allow the club to sign Robert Lewandowski.
The Dutchman played under Ten Hag at Ajax and is believed to have a close relationship with the new Man United head coach, and he is the type of ball-playing midfielder that the Red Devils require to help them move closer to Manchester City and Liverpool in the table.
Convincing Chelsea to allow N'Golo Kante to join them would be a huge task for Man United, but there have been strong reports of interest from the 20-time English champions over the last couple of weeks.
The 31-year-old was again a key player for Thomas Tuchel's side during the 2021-22 campaign, featuring on 42 occasions in all competitions, contributing two goals and five assists.
The France international's current deal is due to expire next June, though, and he struggled with injury problems last term, which has led to speculation surrounding his future.
Kante would certainly bring a winning mentality to Old Trafford, having lifted the Premier League with Leicester City before moving to the Blues, where he has won the Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League, Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup.
Ruben Neves is believed to be keen to seek pastures new during this summer's transfer window, so it would be a surprise to see him remain with Wolverhampton Wanderers past the deadline.
The 25-year-old was again a vital player for Bruno Lage's side during the 2021-22 campaign, making 36 appearances in all competitions, contributing four goals and two assists.
A recent report claimed that Man United were lining up a £45m bid for the Portugal international, but Barcelona and Arsenal are among the other clubs said to be in the hunt for his signature.
Neves has proved his quality in the Premier League over the last few years, so his signing would not be a risk, and the midfielder could be available for an affordable price this summer.
Youri Tielemans (Leicester City)
Youri Tielemans is also expected to switch clubs this summer, with the 25-year-old enjoying another strong campaign at Leicester City, contributing seven goals and five assists in 50 appearances.
The 25-year-old only has little over 12 months left to run on his contract at the King Power Stadium, so the Foxes are not in a strong position to negotiate a transfer fee.
Capable of dictating the play from a deeper area, Tielemans would be an ideal addition for a Man United side looking to boost their quality in the middle of the park.
The Belgium international has now made 158 appearances for the Foxes since arriving from Monaco, initially on loan, contributing 24 goals and 24 assists in the process, and he is likely to be cheaper than Kante and De Jong.
Brighton & Hove Albion are unlikely to be able to keep hold of Yves Bissouma during this summer's transfer window, as the 25-year-old's contract is due to expire next June.
The Mali international was again in productive form for the Seagulls during the 2021-22 campaign, scoring twice and providing two assists in 28 appearances in all competitions.
Bissouma's energy and power have been key for Brighton since his arrival, but the midfielder is also an excellent footballer, with his passing, especially under pressure, underrated.
Like the other four players on this list, Man United would face a host of competition if they moved for him this summer, but the Brighton midfielder might prove to be the most affordable individual on the list.
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