The £30m transfer war Man Utd must win with Arsenal to land striker of their dreams

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The Premier League giants are in a race to sign an in-demand forward this summer

You’ve got to love the hyperbolic lexicon of the transfer window. According to The Sun, Manchester United and Arsenal are at war; not over land, or natural resources, or because Erik ten Hag insulted Mikel Arteta’s honour, but because both would quite like to sign a promising Dutch striker this summer. It’s the Battle of Brian Brobbey, and their can only be one winner.

As per a recent report from the tabloid, both Premier League giants are in the hunt to lure the 22-year-old to England over the coming weeks, with his current employers Ajax demanding an asking price somewhere in the region of £30 million for his signature. For United’s part, they are eager to bring in another goalscorer capable of easing the burden on Rasmus Hojlund, while the Gunners are keen to secure an alternative option to inconsistent number nine Gabriel Jesus.

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Brobbey has emerged on the radar of both having scored 21 times across all competitions last season, and earning himself a place in the Netherlands’ Euro 2024 squad as a result. In particular, however, United boss Ten Hag has worked with him before, with the two having shared a stint at the Johan Cruyff Arena.

Not that Brobbey is necessarily allowing that familiarity to influence any decision over his next destination. Instead, the forward appears to be keeping his options open, playing the field and seeing which opportunities present themselves.

Speaking recently, the Dutch star told NOS Jeugdjournaal: "Arsenal, I think that is a very nice club. If you look at that stadium. A very nice club. But that also applies to Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid. I have a contract until 2027. At the moment I am just with Ajax."

But at this rate, Brobbey won’t be ‘with Ajax’ for much longer. And if United are serious about going toe-to-toe with Arsenal for his services, then this is one tussle that they should really be looking to win. A lethal finisher who likes to play on the shoulder of the last man, it is much easier to envisage the striker slotting into a side who have a tendency to play swiftly in transition than it is to see him carving out a niche for himself in a more possession-based blueprint like Arteta’s project.

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Then, of course, there is the matter of price. At £30 million, Brobbey represents a much more affordable option than several other targets that United have been linked with this summer, and given the scale of the rebuild that Sir Jim Ratcliffe is expected to enact at Old Trafford between now and the end of August, saving money wherever possible feels like a smart idea.

The fact that Ten Hag knows the player doesn’t hurt things either, and if he and Ratcliffe between them are convinced that he is the man for United, then they must go out of their way to ensure that he ends up in Manchester, and not North London. This might just be one war worth fighting.

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