Man Utd left sweating as Man City eye Kobbie Mainoo transfer

What has gone wrong at Man Utd?

Manchester United have been left sweating over the future of one of their most promising youngsters as Manchester City are reportedly eyeing a move for Kobbie Mainoo. The 18-year-old came through the Red Devils academy and has made three first team appearances.

Mainoo is highly regarded by his current employers and was part of the Red Devils squad that toured the United States in the summer. But the teenager suffered an ankle injury against Real Madrid during a pre-season friendly in north America and hasn’t featured since the campaign got underway. He returned to training a month ago, however, and was named on the bench last weekend when his team were thumped 3-0 by Pep Guardiola’s City side.

According to FourFourTwo, City are hoping to sign Mainoo – but they may have to pay through the nose to secure his services as he only penned his latest deal in February and is contracted to United until the summer of 2027, with Utd not looking to lose a key talent to their neighbours.

Mainoo, who joined United before he had even turned nine years old, has been a star player through the age groups and was the second youngest member of the Red Devils’ FA Youth Cup-winning side of 2022. The midfielder has been capped by England at under-19s level and was handed his United debut when he was named in the starting line-up for their Carabao Cup quarter-final showdown with Charlton at the start of the year.

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And the teenage sensation could soon be given the opportunity to nail down a regular first team place at Old Trafford as his manager Erik ten Hag ‘loves him to madness’, according to The Athletic. The Dutchman was even said to have been taken aback by the player’s maturity last season.

Mainoo starred against Arsenal in a 2-0 victory in pre-season before picking up his injury and played a role in Bruno Fernandes’ opening goal. The young star was eager to get on the ball throughout the encounter and certainly didn’t do his first team aspirations any harm.

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And following that match, Red Devils captain Fernandes said: “He’s a great player. He’s good on the ball, strong, he can defend and attack. He’s still pretty young but we see a bright future for him.”

Meanwhile, Ten Hag confirmed a fortnight ago that Mainoo was fit and could have a role to play going forward. “He is already training with us,” the Dutchman explained. “I think next week he will have some minutes in the team. So then he can catch up his game minutes. So he is really improving and ready to get back in the squad for games.”

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