Manchester United’s frantic transfer deadline day saw three new additions join Erik ten Hag’s ranks at the Theatre of Dreams.
Sofyan Amrabat was the last through the doors, following Sergio Reguilon and Altay Bayindir who had signed earlier in the day.
Amrabat was courted by United throughout the summer but the deal was proving difficult with Fiorentina looking for a full sale and United low on funds.
However, a compromise was struck in the final hours of the window with the Italians agreeing to an initial twelve month loan with an option for United to buy the midfielder at the end of the year.
United weren’t the only team chasing the Moroccan international this summer, though, with Spanish giants Barcelona also keen on his signature.
As reported by Spanish media, Barca saw Amrabat as an ideal replacement for the outgoing Sergio Busquets, who called time on his sparkling career at in Spain by joining Lionel Messi in Miami.
The Catalan’s “valued him (Amrabat) very seriously as a substitute for Busquets,” according to sport.es, but failed to make a move, leaving the door open for United.
Amrabat was reportedly only interested in joining United but had Barca turned their interest into a concrete offer, things could have been different.
The lure of the playing for Xavi’s side is difficult to turn down but United eventually got their man.
Amrabat knows Ten Hag well having played for him at FC Utrecht in the Eredivisie and the pair’s relationship no doubt played a part in the deal with Amrabat speaking very positively about the United manager and his methods.
After an outstanding World Cup with Morocco, Amrabat quickly emerged as one of the most sought after midfielders in Europe and United will be delighted with the capture.
The 27-year-old will add some much needed power and strength to Ten Hag’s engine room which has looked a little flimsy in the opening round of Premier League fixtures.
Amrabat will be hoping to make his debut for the club when Brighton visit Old Trafford after the international break.