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Manchester United ‘open to permanent James Garner exit’

Manchester United ‘open to permanent James Garner exit’

Manchester United are open to offloading midfielder James Garner on a permanent deal this summer, according to a report.

The 21-year-old is yet to have his breakthrough season at Old Trafford but was a driving force in the Nottingham Forest midfield during their triumphant 2021-22 season.

Garner registered four goals and eight assists from 41 regular-season Championship matches and also set up two goals in the FA Cup to help the Tricky Trees reach the quarter-finals.

The England Under-21 international also started all three of Forest’s playoff matches en route to the Premier League, and he returned to Old Trafford to try to make a name for himself at the end of the season.

Garner featured under Erik ten Hag in pre-season, but he has been an unused substitute in Man United’s opening two Premier League defeats to Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford.

Nottingham Forest's James Garner pictured on January 22, 2022© Reuters

Donny van de Beek, Fred and Scott McTominay are all ahead of Garner in the Old Trafford pecking order, and his prospects of starts would be reduced further if one or both of Adrien Rabiot and Frenkie de Jong make the move to Manchester.

As a result, The Athletic claims that Man United are willing to entertain offers for the midfielder, with Ten Hag personally giving the club the green light to sell him.

The report adds that bids in the region of £14m will be considered by the Red Devils, and Garner is not short of suitors, with Leeds United, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton all tracking his development.

Nottingham Forest were believed to have been interested in a permanent move for Garner but are unlikely to reignite their interest following the signings of Lewis O’Brien, Orel Mangala and Remo Freuler.

Garner joined Man United’s youth academy back in 2009 but has only made seven senior appearances for the Red Devils in all competitions and is still waiting for his first goal or assist.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag on August 13, 2022© Reuters

The Englishman’s contract at Old Trafford is due to expire at the end of the 2023-24 season, but United do possess the option to extend his stay until the summer of 2025.

Red Devils head coach Ten Hag has already confirmed his desire to bring a new holding midfielder to the club, but Man United are yet to make any significant strides on the personal side of things with Barcelona’s De Jong.

Man United have reportedly reached an agreement with Barcelona over a £71m deal, and the Dutchman is now believed to have told his teammates that he could join the 20-time English champions.

There is still the issue of De Jong’s deferred wages to sort out, though, and Chelsea are rumoured to be waiting in the wings and ready to hijack a deal for Ten Hag’s former Ajax protege.

Meanwhile, Man United are now understood to have agreed personal terms with Juventus’ Rabiot, and a fee of £16.9m has already been agreed with the Old Lady.

Christian Eriksen, Tyrell Malacia and Lisandro Martinez have already arrived at Old Trafford, but Ten Hag is said to have been left ‘furious’ with his side’s lack of subsequent transfer activity.

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