Christian Eriksen is understood to be deciding between whether to join Manchester United or stay at Brentford.
Both clubs have made the 30-year-old appealing offers – but United’s is thought to be more financially lucrative.
Eriksen worked with Erik ten Hag when he trained with Ajax as part of his return to football following his horrifying collapse while playing for Denmark at Euro 2020. Teaming up again as part of United’s anticipated new era has its attractions.
But sources close to the midfielder, whose short-term contract at Brentford expires at the end of June, say he and his family are settled in London and have reservations about relocating to the North West.
Eriksen also wants to start every game to be sure of a place in Denmark’s World Cup team later this year – his priority after missing out on the Euros because of his cardiac arrest in the first game.
He is unlikely to re-sign for Tottenham, who primarily play with two central midfielders under Antonio Conte and have committed to both Rodrigo Bentancur and Yves Bissouma this year.
Eriksen’s comfort in London, that money is not his priority, and the strength of his relationships with people at Brentford, which include a number of his Denmark team-mates and the Danish head coach Thomas Frank, puts the club in a strong position.
Yet they remain in the dark over his future while he is on holiday considering his options, with Eriksen and his agent Martin Schoots giving nothing away even to their closest confidants in the game.
The Bees should expect to be the first to know his decision, however, given those relationships and the platform they have given him to return to the game.
‘Eriksen in head-or-heart situation’
Sky Sports News reporter Mark McAdam:
“This is a significant 24 hours in the future of Christian Eriksen. It’s a fascinating story as Eriksen is deciding on two options. One is Man Utdthe second is Brentford.
“It’s strange to think that 10 years ago, United were challenging for Premier League titles while Brentford were in League One preparing for their first game of the season against Bury.
“They’re now competing in the same market for the same player. Both offers are fair, respectful and decent.
“Eriksen is really in a head-or-heart situation, weighing up the pros and cons of joining both clubs. He worked with Thomas Frank as a youngster and had a hugely successful spell there, keeping the side in the league.
“He was the heartbeat of that midfield. Brentford fans would say without Eriksen they could possibly have gone down. That’s how influential he was at the back end of last season.
“There’s a loyalty to the football club after everything that happened to him a year ago but then you have one of the biggest clubs in world football rebuilding their midfield.
“In Erik ten Hag, there’s a nice connection as Ajax allowed him to train with them during his recovery.”
Analysis: Why Man Utd want Eriksen
Sky Sports football journalist Ben Grounds:
“While the lure of playing for a club of Manchester United’s stature is further strengthened by the prospect of working alongside the man who helped him regain his fitness in Ten Hag, Eriksen will be equally drawn to prolonging his love affair with Brentford.
“There are no airs and graces about the Dane, whose affinity for the club that enabled him to relaunch his career under his compatriot Frank will certainly pull him in the opposite direction.
“Brentford were not in a state of freefall before his January arrival, but it is undeniable his ball-possession qualities removed any lingering fear of ‘second-half-of-the-season syndrome’. In the absence of the injured Josh Dasilva, Eriksen more than filled the creativity deficit.
“His return to professional football was one of the stories of the campaign. And there was no looking back when he took to the field. Brentford picked up more wins (seven) in the 10 games he started than in the 28 games he did not start (six) and their goal ratio doubled.
“Eriksen ranked third in the division for chances created and passes into the final third since his first start on March 5. Whether he stays or leaves, Brentford need to find another player who can link defense and attack.
“When it comes to comparing United’s midfielders in the Premier League since his first start in March, Eriksen ranks favourably. Following the departures of Juan Mata, Paul Pogba and the likely exit of Jesse Lingard, United must bolster this department. Getting Eriksen on board in every sense feels a no-brainer.”
De Jong, Martinez among list of targets; Wan-Bissaka prepared to fight for place
Manchester United remain in talks with Barcelona over the signing of a midfielder Frankie de Jong.
The two clubs remain apart in their valuations, but United are still hopeful they can strike a deal and there is a growing belief the player wants to come and re-unite with Ten Hag – with whom he worked at Ajax.
They will not overpay and have other targets. The feeling is that if United “rushed” into a deal, they would be playing into Barcelona’s hands with regard to the fee.
Meanwhile, Ajax centre-back Lisandro Martinez is a United player are also looking at.
He was a regular under Ten Hag in the last three seasons at Ajax. It is not currently a priority position, but with the possibility of departures, United are doing due diligence in that area.
The club also remain interested in Ajax winger Anthonywho is another player Ten Hag knows and trusts.
In terms of departures, talks are ongoing with Nottingham Forest over goalkeeper Dean Henderson.
There is still no final agreement as United want a straight loan, while Forest are pushing for an option to buy next summer. There are also discussions about the portion of the wages each club will pay in the loan spell.
Aaron Wan Bissaka is prepared to fight for his place next season but is at the stage of his career where he wants regular first-team football.
A number of Premier League clubs are interested, but there have been no official bids tabled.
United would consider suitable offers – but all parties are relaxed about the situation as he has two years left on his contract. The club hold an option for a further year.
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