Manchester United plot sensational bid for Japan international - report

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag looks on during the Carabao Cup final match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Wembley Stadium on 26 February, 2023 in London, United Kingdom.
(Image credit: Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Manchester United are plotting a summer swoop for Brighton & Hove Albion winger Kaoru Mitoma.

That is according to the Sun, who believe Erik ten Hag is pushing for a move for the Japan international. Mitoma has been dazzling for Brighton this season, scoring nine times and assisting six in 29 appearances for the Seagulls. 

The 25 year old is a new addition at the Amex this term, having arrived in England from Japanese club Kawisake Frontale in the summer of 2021. He was loaned to Belgian outfit Union St. Gilloise last campaign, helping the club qualify for Europe, before making his Brighton debut in August. 

The winger, who predominantly plays off the left, has won plaudits for his composure in possession, his creativity and his tenacious pressing when Brighton lose possession. It is believed Ten Hag is keen to add more workrate and quality to his frontline next term, and sees Mitoma - a popular player on Fantasy Football apps - as the ideal addition to his squad. 

It is also felt that Mitoma could hold the key to Manchester United's problems at centre-forward. The Japanese forms part of a fluid frontline at Brighton, often cutting in to play as a false nine for Roberto De Zerbi's side. This creates space for his team-mates to drift wide and deep, wreaking havoc in opposition defensive lines. 

Ten Hag is currently without a top-class striker. Wout Weghorst has struggled for goals as United's main striker, while Marcus Rashford is typically better when playing off the left. It is believed that Mitoma would form part of a new fluid frontline at Old Trafford, swapping with Rashford at will and allowing the Englishman space to move inside. 

It is thought a bid in the region of €40m could be enough to get Brighton to the negotiation table. 

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Ed McCambridge
Staff Writer

Ed is a staff writer at FourFourTwo, working across the magazine and website. A German speaker, he’s been working as a football reporter in Berlin since 2015, predominantly covering the Bundesliga and Germany's national team. Favourite FFT features include an exclusive interview with Jude Bellingham following the youngster’s move to Borussia Dortmund in 2020, a history of the Berlin Derby since the fall of the Wall and a celebration of Kevin Keegan’s playing career.