Manchester United are keen on bringing Real Betis youngster Luiz Henrique to Old Trafford after sending scouts to keep track of his performances in Spain, according to reports. The Red Devils confirmed their first January signing in the form of Wout Weghorst on Friday, with Erik ten Hag moving quickly to improve his forward line after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo back in November.
United are not done yet, though, and have been exploring their options regarding further additions between now and the end of the January window. One player they have taken a liking to is Henrique, who has ‘caught the eye’ of several big clubs in Europe but is thought to be of particular interest to the Red Devils, according to ABC Sevilla via Sport Witness.
It is said that United recently made a ‘discreet follow-up’ regarding Henrique’s signature after launching a previous enquiry over a potential January move. He is said to be ‘well noted’ by the scouting department at Old Trafford, although Betis are not prepared to sell the forward in the middle of the campaign as things stand.
The Spanish outfit would prefer to keep hold of Henrique for the time being to keep developing him in order to increase his transfer value for a move elsewhere at some point further down the line. He is considered as a ‘diamond in the rough’ by the powers that be at Betis, with club chiefs ‘rubbing their hands’ together at the prospect of negotiating a lucrative deal in future.
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A number of other clubs are also said to be keen admirers of Henrique, with United hoping to jump the queue by tempting Betis into a January sale over the next few weeks. However, the possibility of an imminent move appears to be slim, which could see the Red Devils forced to compete in a multi-club bidding war at the end of the season.
Henrique only joined Betis at the end of last season on a long-term deal from Fluminense, with the 22-year-old tied down until the summer of 2028 after committing six years of his career to the La Liga club. This would suggest that a move for his services will not come cheap for United, who may ultimately be forced into paying a significant transfer fee in order to snap him up.
It remains to be seen whether Ten Hag will press ahead with a United approach for Luiz in spite of Betis’ firm desire to keep hold of the young forward until at least the end of the campaign. The Red Devils manager recently insisted that he will only push for signings if the opportunities are right for the club as a whole, with the Red Devils on the lookout for quality over quantity as they look to prepare for the business end of the season.
“It is always difficult,” said Ten Hag when quizzed on the possibility of improving his squad earlier this month. “Strikers are expensive and especially in the winter, you have to set the limits high and we are looking for it, so maybe we have to be creative.
“But we do everything that we have in our power to get it done and get the right player in who fits the balance of the frontlines. I don’t think you can judge that and rate it because it is about timing, it is about availability, it is about so many circumstances playing a role.”
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