Manchester United’s summer frustrations have been worsened by Derby County starlet Malcolm Ebiowei’s decision to snub a move to Old Trafford. Crystal Palace look set to sign Ebiowei this summer, despite United showing strong interest and holding talks with his representatives in recent weeks.
United have been tracking the 18-year-old forward for months after bursting onto the first-team scene under club legend Wayne Rooney last season. But he has seemingly opted for a transfer that presents a bigger short-term opportunity for regular Premier League football.
According to Fabrizio Romano, Ebiowei completed his Palace medical earlier this week, and it’s considered a ‘done deal’. He will imminently sign a five-year deal at Selhurst Park, running until 2027, with the Eagles to announce his exciting arrival shortly after.
Ebiowei was understood to be on United’s summer attacking shortlist to bolster Erik ten Hag’s options ahead of his maiden campaign as manager. Describing the Dutchman’s options as lean would be an understatement, especially with a hectic 2022-23 schedule expected to due the Europa League and 2022 mid-season World Cup in Qatar.
As it stands, Ten Hag has Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Anthony Elanga at his disposal. Alejandro Garnacho is on the verge of breaking through after a stellar 21-22 campaign, but he can’t be deemed a first-team player yet.
Edinson Cavani will leave as a free agent on July 1, Mason Greenwood remains suspended, Martial wants to leave, and there are huge doubts over Rashford after his disastrous last 12 months. Cristiano Ronaldo also turns 38 next season and can’t be relied upon to be the only United player to score more than 10 goals again.