December 5, 2022

With January on the horizon, clubs will soon be able to sign players on a pre-contract agreement.

For those not familiar, a pre-contract agreement means the player has agreed to join a new club once his current contract expires.

A pre-contract agreement can only be signed when a player has six months left on his current deal and when the club agreeing the new deal is not from the same country.

So, in this example, Manchester United cannot sign any Premier League players to a pre-contract agreement even if their contract is up in six months.

However, there are still plenty of potential bargains out there and 101GreatGoals have picked out the best four Manchester United should sign.

Milan Skriniar (Inter Milan)

Skriniar has been on Inter Milan’s books since 2017 when he joined from Sampdoria.

The centre-back has since become a mainstay in Inter’s backline and was crucial to their title win under Antonio Conte.

The 27-year-old is one of the best defenders in the Serie A and would be a huge upgrade on some of Manchester United’s current centre-back options.

Inter Milan chief Giuseppe Marotta confirmed recently the Serie A giants will soon hold talks over a fresh contract:

“We’ll meet with his agent this week as we’re planning to get new deal done as soon as possible,” he said.

“Skriniar loves this club and I hope we’ll be able to reach full agreement on new contract soon”.

But if Inter cannot come to terms, the Slovakian, who has previously been linked with Chelsea and Manchester City, would be a major coup for United.

Marcus Thuram (Borussia Monchengladbach)

Manchester United are in desperate need of some new striking options and signing Marcus Thuram would be a great move.

Thuram spent much of his early playing career as a left-winger.

However, in recent seasons he has been used largely as a striker. In 2022/23, the Frenchman has scored nine and assisted two in 13 Bundesliga matches. Thuram has also netted three and assisted one in two DFB-Pokal matches.

And if United are able to sign the Frenchman for free, they should still have money left over to add another striker to their ranks, allowing Marcus Rashford to be used out left on a more regular basis.

Evan Ndicka (Eintracht Frankfurt)

The final player Manchester United should sign to a pre-contract agreement is Evan Ndicka.

Ndicka is another central defender, but crucially, he is left-footed, meaning he operates as a left-sided centre-back.

At present, Manchester United currently only have Lisandro Martinez for this role. So, if the Argentine is injured, Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire, both of whom are right-footed, would have to fill that gap.

Ndicka joined Frankfurt in 2018 and has since made 160 appearances for the German outfit. He has also garnered interest from Arsenal previously, so United may face some competition for his signature.

Youri Tielemans (Leicester, in six months)

Okay so Tielemans, as a Leicester player, wouldn’t be able to agree a deal with league rivals Man Utd this coming window, but he still only has six months to run on his current deal and will be a bargain deal for any club should they get him on a free in the summer.

In Erik ten Hag’s new system, having at least one central midfielder who is able to control play and start attacks with his passing is crucial.

Right now, that job falls to Christian Eriksen. However, the Dane is getting on and cannot be expected to play 40+ games in a season.

So, Tielemans for free would make perfect sense for United. The Belgian has been fairly vocal in his desire to leave Leicester, who are struggling in the bottom half this season.

And signing for a club such as Manchester United would likely appeal to the 25-year-old, if he continues to reject the advances of the Foxes.

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