On-loan Man Utd defender 'attracting' permanent transfer interest

Manchester United via Getty Imag

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Erik ten Hag could see three Man Utd defenders leave for free in the summer.

On loan Manchester United defender Will Fish is reportedly attracting permanent transfer interest ahead of the summer transfer window.

Fish is currently enjoying a second year at Hibernian after impressing across to border last season. The 20-year-old has been a regular feature during both campaigns and has earned plenty of praise at Easter Road.

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The Scottish side will likely be keen to take Fish onboard permanently but The Athletic's David Ornstein reports that there is also interest from the EFL. Championship outfit Cardiff City are named in the report but there are others.

Fish will stay at Hibernian and honour his loan spell for the remainder of this season, but the defender looks set to become a free agent when his contract at United expires in the summer. The England under-19 international was present during the pre-season tour of the United States in the summer but never looked likely to break into the first-team, with Rhys Bennett and Willy Kambwala preferred as young cover.

Fish will likely leave United with just one senior appearance, having made his debut against Wolves on the final day of the 2020-21 campaign, coming off the bench for Dan James.

He is one of three defenders who could leave for free in the summer, albeit the most junior. Jonny Evans is 36 and was only ever going to be a short-term option for Erik ten Hag, having joined on a free after being released by Leicester City.

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Raphael Varane's contract also expired on June 30 and United opted against activating a 12-month extension at a point when they did for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof and Hannibal Mejbri - who has since joined Sevilla on loan. Ten Hag is keen to lower the age profile in that area of the pitch and both experienced options look likely to be moved on.

United have been linked with a number of defenders in recent weeks, most recently Barcelona's Ronald Araujo, Everton's Jarrad Branthwaite and Jean-Clair Todibo of OGC Nice.

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