With pre-season now well underway, there may be a slight frustration for Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag that the club have thus far only wrapped up a deal for England international, Mason Mount, with the pursuit of both Andre Onana and Rasmus Hojlund still ongoing.

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The signing of a new goalkeeper and a striker appears to be the major priority for the Red Devils at present, with long-serving stopper David De Gea having announced his departure from the club after 12 years in Manchester, while Anthony Martial is currently the only senior centre-forward at Ten Hag's disposal.

While plugging those gaps is seemingly high on the agenda, that is not to say that United won't also try to bolster other areas of the pitch over the coming weeks, with reports in Spain indicating that the Premier League giants are also showing an interest in AC Milan defender, Theo Hernandez.

The belief is that the Old Trafford outfit could be willing to part with around €60m (£51m) in order to secure the signing of the 17-cap France international, albeit with it unclear as to whether the Serie A side would sanction the exit of the 25-year-old.

A new left-back addition may seem unlikely seeing as Ten Hag already has Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia at his disposal, although the same was perhaps true last summer, as the former Ajax boss sprung a surprise to land Malacia as his first signing, despite already having Shaw and Alex Telles on the books.

If the Dutchman is to make another bold move to push for the capture of Hernandez, it could see the 53-year-old form a mouthwatering defensive partnership involving the former Real Madrid man and Lisandro Martinez.

How good is Theo Hernandez?

The Marseille-born speedster appears to have caught the eye following a standout campaign for both club and country last time out, having chipped in with four goals and five assists in all competitions at San Siro, with that tally of nine goal contributions better than what both Shaw (seven G/A) and Malacia (zero G/A) achieved in 2022/23.

The former Atletico Madrid youth product - who registered 15 goals and assists the year prior - was also lauded for his form at the World Cup in Qatar, with club colleague Simon Kjaer describing his talents as "crazy", while also stating:

"Theo has running, physique, shooting, he can do many things on the pitch. He’s like few others.”


Once described as an "absolute beast" by talent scout Jacek Kulig, the flying full-back - who boasts 52 goal involvements in 167 games for Milan - could dovetail nicely with Martinez down the left-flank, with the Argentine machine able to offer quality defensive cover for Hernandez.

The World Cup-winning centre-back has proven himself a tough test for any opposition forward, with the 25-year-old's ball-winning talents showcased by the fact that he ranks in the top 6% among those in his position in Europe's top five leagues for tackles made.

Lauded as a "warrior" by pundit Adrian Mariappa, the left-footed ace is also "so clean and composed" when in possession - as per club legend Patrice Evra - with that composure illustrated by the fact that the former Ajax ace ranks in the top 11% among his peers for successful take-ons, as he regularly carries the ball out from defence with ease.

To have a player who is so comfortable in possession alongside him would likely be a dream for Hernandez, while the Frenchman would also be aware that he could bomb forward at any opportunity, safe in the knowledge that he has a real dominant, defensive presence behind him.

While it may appear unlikely that such a combination will be seen at the Theatre of Dreams next term, just imagining that pairing is enough to spark real excitement.