Galatasaray chief reveals Man Utd midfielder came close to snubbing Old Trafford transfer

Man Utd transfer target Sofyan Amrabat Credit: Alamy
Man Utd transfer target Sofyan Amrabat Credit: Alamy

Galatasaray vice-president Erden Timur has revealed that Sofyan Amrabat came close to choosing the Turkish club over Manchester Untied in the summer transfer window.

The Red Devils were linked with the Morocco international for most of the summer with reports in Italy suggesting that Erik ten Hag had made a ‘promise’ to Amrabat that he would attempt to sign him from Fiorentina before the transfer window shut.

Man Utd left it as late as possible with Amrabat joining the Premier League club on deadline day after reports that the Red Devils may have switched target.

The Red Devils paid €10m to take the 27-year-old on a season-long loan from Fiorentina with the temporary deal including a trigger to make the transfer permanent.

If Man Utd decide to take up their option on the player then they will pay €20m and the Serie A side could receive a further €5m in potential add-ons.

But things could have been different for Amrabat, according to Galatasaray vice-president Timur, with the Moroccan close to joining the Turkish side before a late intervention from Man Utd.

READ MORE: Saudi Arabia transfer window winners and losers: Liverpool, Boehly, Manchester United, Henderson

“We largely agreed with Sofyan Amrabat,” Timur said.

“With Fiorentina, we were at a level where we could reach a point. Manchester United came on Wednesday evening and as the player has said before, his former manager was also there.

“He rejected the big teams and waited for us, but it didn’t happen.”

Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand has warned Amrabat will find the football “quicker” in the Premier League and that it could take time for him to adapt.

“All players need to adapt and if he can do that quickly I think he’ll be fine,” Ferdinand said on his FIVE podcast. “The game is quicker than Serie A, definitely.

“He’s an international footballer who played well on the international scene so hopefully he’s got the common sense and concentration to be able to make sure he’s right.

“I think someone like Casemiro with his experience of last year missing a few games because of his ill-discipline here and there and maybe naivety towards the league he might be able to give him a point in the right direction.”

And Gary Neville doesn’t think Amrabat was a “panic” buy, as suggested by some, with Ten Hag always wanting “this type of player”.

“No I don’t think the Amrabat one is a panic because they have wanted him from day one,” Neville said on Sky Sports.

“I think he’s [Ten Hag] wanted a ball-playing midfield player. Go back 12 months to Frenkie De Jong and basically Mount isn’t a ball-playing midfielder, I think he presses well, I think he links well, I think he runs forward

“I think he has always wanted this type of player. I don’t think it’s a panic, Erik ten Hag wants a player like this and I just don’t know why it hasn’t happened earlier, obviously the other signings were brought in earlier in the summer and there has been an issue with players going out.”


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