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Manchester United close to Aaron Wan-Bissaka deal with Crystal Palace | Football


Aidy Boothroyd believes Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s head has been turned by Manchester United, who are close to agreeing a deal for the Crystal Palace defender.

United and Palace officials have been in talks since the weekend over a fee for the England Under-21 right-back, with the Selhurst Park club wanting at least £50m guaranteed for the 21-year-old. Palace rejected United’s first offer last month but progress has been made on the terms in recent days. Palace also want United to remove the sell-on clause that was part of the deal that took Wilfried Zaha back to Palace in January 2015.

Wan-Bissaka endured a disappointing start to England’s European Under-21 Championship campaign on Tuesday with his 95th-minute own goal gifting victory to France. England’s head coach suspects the uncertainty over the player’s future, and the likely prospect of leaving his boyhood team, has distracted the full-back. Jonjoe Kenny may replace Wan-Bissaka in England’s game against Romania on Friday.

Boothroyd said: “I could dodge it by saying you have to ask him that [whether he’s been distracted] but I won’t. 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. For a young player who all he knows is Crystal Palace academy, Crystal Palace first team, it would be daft not to say that in some way he must think about it. I would not be truthful if I told you anything other than that.

“What I will say is because he doesn’t say too much you don’t get to find out too much. Aaron keeps things to himself. He is a very private guy. When that speculation is flying around it is bound to turn your head. But having said all of that, had he not scored the own goal we probably would not be having this conversation.”

Boothroyd’s irritation was evident as he contrasted the way Everton cooperated with England over Jordan Pickford’s transfer from Sunderland in 2017 and the uncertainty over Wan-Bissaka.

“It’s been going on for a long time,” he said. “In Poland last time we had a similar situation with Jordan Pickford. There was a lot of speculation, Everton agreed the deal, they worked very closely with us and were very respectful in terms of not getting involved in our buildup. In the end it was done in a hotel down the road away from everything else, all the medicals, and got done.

“If that was to happen we certainly wouldn’t be blocking anybody, we’d be talking to people and seeing if we could help out – providing both clubs were happy with it. If that happens we’ll oblige and if it doesn’t suit us we’ll find a time when it does.”



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