Manchester United face battle with Manchester City for Bayer Leverkusen full-back Jeremie Frimpong

Manchester United are set to battle it out with cross-town rivals Manchester City for the signing of highly-rated Bayer Leverkusen full-back Jeremie Frimpong.

Jeremie Frimpong

The Netherlands international, 23, spent over a decade at Manchester City’s academy before he joined Celtic in 2019. After two successful years with Celtic, he joined Bayer Leverkusen in January 2021. In the last 15-18 months, he has grown into a fine player in his position for Bayer Leverkusen.

Under the tutelage of Xabi Alonso, Jeremie Frimpong has transformed himself into one of the most productive full-backs in Europe this season. With eight goals and seven assists, the 23-year-old has played a key role in helping Bayer Leverkusen establish a 13-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga table and going unbeaten throughout the campaign.

Unsurprisingly, his sizzling performances in the Bundesliga have caught the attention of many top European clubs ahead of the summer transfer window. Manchester United and Manchester City are reportedly showing strong interest in Frimpong, who has a one-off £35million release clause that can only be triggered this summer, despite his deal at Bayer Leverkusen not expiring until 2028.

Man United to lock horns with Man City for Jeremie Frimpong

Manchester United are planning to bolster their defensive unit under the new regime of Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS. It will be interesting to see which defenders leave the club at the end of the season with Raphael Varane coming to the end of his contract. Jonny Evans is clearly past his prime and uncertainty still surrounds Harry Maguire’s future.

At full-back, the Red Devils currently have Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka as options. Dalot has improved leaps and bounds and has been arguably Man United’s best player this season. Having signed a new five-year contract in May 2023, the Portuguese is certain to stay. However, Wan-Bissaka could be sold in the summer as the club remains in the hunt for a more adventurous right-back to compete with Dalot next term.

Jeremie Frimpong has the qualities to succeed at Old Trafford, and signing him would fix Man United’s right-back department for the foreseeable future.

Meanwhile, Manchester City will be in the market for a new right-back as a long-term replacement for Kyle Walker, who will turn 34 next month. The Sky Blues view Frimpong as a potential long-term successor to Walker, and having spent a long time with the club’s academy, the 23-year-old could be tempted to return to the Etihad Stadium and prove himself in the Premier League.

The two-cap Netherlands international is a huge talent, especially going forward, having contributed to 11 goals and seven assists across all competitions this season. The ex-Celtic man can play on either side of the defence and in midfield, and such flexibility would make him a good fit in Pep Guardiola’s system at City.

Although champions-elect Bayer Leverkusen are desperate to keep hold of Frimpong, they will be helpless if either Manchester club pays his £35million buyout clause in the summer.

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