Manchester United set to face 2019 target Kulusevski

Manchester United face Tottenham this afternoon in a huge clash in the race for the Premier League top four.

Spurs have long been looking for the man to round off their front three alongside Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, who are both at the very top of their game right now.

The man Antonio Conte has bought in to try is Dejan Kulusevski, who plays on the right hand side of the attack in the Italian’s 3-4-3 system.

If things had worked out differently, the forward could have been a United player, as he was linked with a move to Old Trafford in 2019.

Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images

The Sun reported in December that year that United sent scouts to watch the forward, who was still a teenager at that stage.

His agent, Stefano Sam, told Calcio Mercato: “Manchester United on Kulusevski? He is followed by several Premier League clubs; he could have left this summer too. There were so many great offers this summer.”

At that stage, United had signed Dan James in the summer of 2019 – although we recently wrote about how the transfer business in that particular window looks now.

He was not the answer on the right of midfield, and has since been sold to make way for Jadon Sancho, who is currently playing on the left.

So the issue which was apparent when United were watching Kulusevski as a Parma player remains unsolved and the Swede has the chance to show up close what we missed out on.

Photo by Giuseppe Cottini/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Mutual admiration with Ronaldo

Kulusevski of course used to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus and the Portuguese superstar has expressed his admiration for the youngster.

Ronaldo to the Swedish station TV4 about the forward: “He is a great talent. He will help us to win and achieve incredible things.

“I really like to see him, he has a great potential, and he’s an excellent player. I hope to play with him and score a lot of goals together.”

Kulusevski returned the compliment, saying about Ronaldo: “He’s fantastic, pure gasoline, he is a world class player that everyone wants to play with.

“He is an example that I want. follow. In every game he proves that he is the best, I am lucky to be his teammate and I will learn everything from him. He is kind, he loves helping others. I am very grateful.”

Ronaldo will hope to get back to scoring form against Spurs, while his former teammate tries to show United what they could have had if they swooped early on a huge evening at Old Trafford.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.