Man Utd scouts ‘focus’ on ‘electric’ £35m Brighton star as Ten Hag prepares to ‘chop’ two attackers
Man Utd are reportedly ‘focusing’ on Brighton and Hove Albion star Kaoru Mitoma as they plan to ‘invest out wide’ this summer.
The Seagulls paid around £2.7m to sign Mitoma from Japanese side Kawasaki Frontale in 2021.
The 25-year-old shone while on loan at Belgian outfit Union SG last term and he has been an integral player for Brighton this season.
The Japan international has been one of the Premier League’s breakout stars this season. He has grabbed nine goals and six assists in 27 outings across all competitions this campaign.
His form is helping Brighton’s push for a place in Europe and they will no doubt be desperate to keep him long-term. He is under contract until 2025 and it was reported last month that he is valued at around £35m.
Brighton chief Paul Barber is aware that Mitoma will “be in the spotlight” when the transfer window opens again later this year.
“He’s another player that no doubt is going to be in the spotlight again come the next transfer window, but we’re ready for that and we understand that,” Barber said on The Beautiful Game podcast.
“We just hope he can have another second half to the season in the way that he has started it.”
The Sun are reporting that Man Utd’s scouts are ‘focusing’ on the Brighton star as they ‘consider a move’ for the winger with ‘electric pace’.
The report adds that Erik ten Hag is ‘planning a summer clearout’, with Anthony Martial and Anthony Elanga both ‘facing the chop’. Should they leave, ‘investment will be needed out wide’.
Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo are ‘next in line’ to leave Brighton, but it is noted that Mitoma ‘is not far behind’.
Arsenal are also being linked with the winger, Earlier this week, Football Insider reported that Brighton ‘have opened talks with Mitoma over a new deal to fend off interest’ from the Gunners.
Roberto De Zerbi and the club’s hierarchy ‘have moved quickly to open talks with Mitoma over a new long-term deal at the Amex Stadium’.
The report adds that Mitoma currently earns £20,000 a week, ‘but the Premier League outfit have tabled an offer to double his wages to £40,000’.
Despite this, Paul Merson has predicted that Mitoma will leave Brighton this summer.
“I sit there and say to myself ‘how have they found Evan Ferguson and Kaoru Mitoma?’ The scouting is that good. Where do you find these gems?
“I do fear for Brighton though in a sense, as I don’t see Mitoma or Alexis Mac Allister being there next year. I’m not even sure Ferguson will be either. But as the saying goes, you’ve got to make hay while the sun shines.”
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