Erik ten Hag hails Fernandes’ finish as Man Utd sink Saints
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Manchester United could help Birmingham City sign their next Jude Bellingham if they allow the Championship club to buy Tahith Chong. The Red Devils attacking midfielder is reportedly a target for Birmingham, who are seeking a permanent deal.
The second-tier side are keen to develop young players, in the same way that they raised England starlet Bellingham through their youth ranks. The 19-year-old was sold to Borussia Dortmund for £25million in the summer of 2020.
Birmingham are set to make even more money on Bellingham, with a hefty sell-on percentage clause written into the midfielder’s contract at Dortmund. Several EFL clubs have realised that developing young players is a sustainable way of operating.
Man Utd could hand Birmingham their next Bellingham by selling Chong to the midlands outfit. While not quite as young as Bellingham, the 22-year-old could follow in the former Birmingham youngster’s footsteps.
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According to Fabrizio Romano, the two clubs are in talks over a permanent transfer for Chong. The Dutchman spent last season on loan at St. Andrew’s but a groin injury hampered his progress. He scored just one goal in 20 appearances after making an impressive start to life in the Championship.
Birmingham have benefitted from an excellent relationship with United. They have already taken the highly-rated attacking midfielder Hannibal Mejbri on loan for the 2022-23 season.
Given that they are hoping to sign Chong on a permanent deal following a loan spell, there could be hope at Birmingham that they could strike a similar agreement with Hannibal in 12 months’ time. However, the Tunisia international is well liked at Old Trafford and there is hope that he can become a key part of their first team in the years to come.
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Developing another young player and selling them on for a profit could help Birmingham, just in the same way they have been aided by Bellingham’s departure.
Meanwhile, United could complete plenty of their own business in the final days of the transfer window. Antony is set to join the Red Devils in an £85million switch from Ajax. The Brazilian was spotted at the club’s Carrington training base on Monday ahead of undergoing his medical.
Erik ten Hag wants to continue strengthening his attack even if Antony completes his move. PSV winger Cody Gakpo and Napoli striker Victor Osimhen have been linked with the Red Devils.
A new second-choice goalkeeper could also be signed, with wide-ranging reports suggesting that Newcastle shot-stopper Martin Dubravka is the subject of transfer discussions. That could be an initial loan move with an option for United to buy the Slovakian.
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