Bologna boss makes Marko Arnautovic prediction after talks with Man Utd target | Football
Bologna manager Sinisa Mihajlovic has confirmed he would be ‘happy’ for Marko Arnautovic to join Manchester United but doubts the veteran forward will move to Old Trafford after holding talks with his player.
The former Stoke City and West Ham striker has emerged as a shock target for Erik ten Hag, who was left reeling after watching his new side labour to an embarrassing defeat against Brighton in Sunday’s Premier League opener at Old Trafford.
United’s new manager has endured a frustrating summer with his rebuilding job stalling on account of the club’s failure to secure a number of his top targets, including his former Ajax players Jurrien Timber and Antony.
Ten Hag’s problems have been compounded by the saga surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo’s future, while an injury to Anthony Martial, who had enjoyed an encouraging pre-season, has provided a further headache.
Regardless of whether Ronaldo stays, United look woefully short of attacking options, highlighted by Ten Hag’s decision to deploy midfielder Christian Eriksen as a false nine against the Seagulls, an experiment that lasted just 45 minutes.
Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford both struggled to make an impact against Brighton, while youngster Anthony Elanga reamined on the bench until the 89th minute with his team pressing for what would have been an undeserved equaliser.
In an effort to solve their striker shortage, United are understood to have made a £7million bid for 33-year-old Arnautovic, who scored 14 times for Bologna last season.
Mihajlovic has spoken to the player about a possible return to the Premier League but is confident the Austria international will remain, and deliver another blow to Ten Hag.
‘I would be happy for Marko [in case he joins United] but I don’t think he will leave,’ said Mihajlovic.
‘I spoke to Arnautovic about Man Utd proposal – in case he leaves we will see… but I think he will stay.’
Both Ten Hag and assistant coach McClaren know Arnautovic from their time at Twente – back then, the latter was head coach and the former was part of his backroom staff.
The Austrian forward, who played for the Eredivisie side from 2006 until 2010, is believed to have a good relationship with his old coaches and they feel they can rely on him to be a good squad player.
United are also looking to bolster their midfield after Scott McTominay and Fred both delivered sub-par performances at the weekend and are on the verge of agreeing a deal with Juventus for Adrien Rabiot.
MORE : Manchester United working on deals for two midfield alternatives to Adrien Rabiot
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