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Manchester United answered Erik ten Hag’s cries for a second midfielder on transfer deadline day by recruiting Sofyan Amrabat on a season-long loan. And the Red Devils tarnished Champions League group-stage opponents Galatasaray’s late transfer hopes by sealing a deal for the 27-year-old.
Mason Mount, Andre Onana and Rasmus Hojlund had already landed at Old Trafford for a combined £179million.
But last Friday became one of United’s busiest summer deadline days as Ten Hag welcomed four new recruits.
Altay Bayindir arrived from Fenerbahce to replace Dean Henderson, while Tottenham’s Sergio Reguilon joined as emergency injury cover, and Jonny Evans signed a one-year contract.
Amrabat’s arrival eclipsed the lot after United’s midfield issues became prevalent in their opening four Premier League games of the season.
But the Morocco international almost evaded Ten Hag’s grasp, according to Galatasaray vice-president Erden Timur.
The Turkish giants were also heavily linked with a move for Amrabat this summer, and Timur claims they had all but agreed to a transfer.
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“We largely agreed with Sofyan Amrabat. With Fiorentina, we were at a level where we could reach a point,” Timur explained on Thursday.
“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.”
Galatasaray instead had to settle for Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, who landed in Istanbul on a season-long loan with the option to buy.
United inserted the same clause in Amrabat’s contract and will have the option to make the deal permanent for just £17m next summer after committing to an £8.5m loan fee.
He has been handed the No 4 shirt – inheriting it from Phil Jones – and will face the team he allegedly almost joined in the Champions League this season.
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United returned to Europe’s premier competition after finishing third in the Premier League in Ten Hag’s first season at the helm.
The Red Devils will face Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich and Danish giants Copenhagen, as well as Galatasaray in Group A.
But Amrabat’s debut could come before United start their European campaign at the Allianz Arena later this month.
Ten Hag’s side host Brighton and Hove Albion at Old Trafford next Saturday in search of a return to winning ways after suffering an agonising late defeat to Arsenal last time out.
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