Manchester United are edging closer to completing more transfer business this summer, with Crystal Palace’s talented fullback Aaron Wan-Bissaka set to complete a deal worth £50m imminently.
Wan-Bissaka, 21, emerged as one of the Premier League’s best fullbacks after an impressive breakthrough campaign in south London in 2018/19. He made 35 appearances and caught the eye with a refreshing mix of defensive quality and creative nous too, as part of an inconsistent Palace side who ultimately finished in 12th.
With three years left on his existing deal at Selhurst Park, Palace were understandably reluctant to entertain offers for the England under-21 international. However, reported interest was high – especially abroad with Bayern and Dortmund both lurking – although United emerged as frontrunners after making initial bids that were rebuffed.
Boothroyd reveals Wan-Bissaka was unsettled with U21s
Having joined the club’s academy aged 11, the boyhood United fan refused to acknowledge speculation surrounding his situation by reaffirming his happiness at Palace – though Aidy Boothroyd’s recent comments prove he has been unsettled by constant news on where his future lies.
“When that speculation is flying around it is bound to turn your head. For a young player who all he knows is Crystal Palace academy and first-team, it would be daft not to say that in some way he must think about it.”
“I think when you are nearly going to move and all the things that would go through an older person’s head, who is more experienced in life, it would be difficult for them to cope with. He doesn’t say too much, Aaron keeps things to himself and is a very private guy.”
Aaron endured a forgettable outing at the U21 Euros, as he started but struggled against France on June 18. He appeared nervy and wasn’t himself while his failed clearance turned own goal cost the Young Lions a late point in stoppage-time, intensifying claims he was unsettled by recent transfer talk.
He was dropped for their 4-2 defeat by Romania in the following game and didn’t feature in their dead rubber draw against Croatia on Monday evening, but nonetheless will travel to Carrington for a medical and to agree personal terms at some stage on Thursday.
Currently on £10,000-a-week, he’s expected to pen a long-term deal worth £80kpw while his new employers would retain their 25% sell-on clause for teammate Wilfried Zaha. After the deal is officially announced, Aaron will then go on holiday before joining up with his new teammates for pre-season at some stage next month.
He’ll become the most expensive defensive signing in club history, eclipsing the £30m fee they paid for then Leeds centre-back Rio Ferdinand back in 2002 – and sixth of all-time. In addition, he’ll be their second summer signing after winger Daniel James joined from Swansea for £15m earlier this month.