Man United ready to sign £72m release clause Frenchman after World Cup heroics

Manchester United are reportedly interested in signing Atletico Madrid defender Lucas Hernandez.

Hernandez played a key role in France winning the 2018 World Cup, and only signed a new long-term contract with Atletico this summer.

However, according to France Football, United have not been put off by Hernandez’s release clause of £72m, and could move for the 22-year-old at the end of the season.

United boss Jose Mourinho was unable to bring a new central defender to the club during the summer transfer window, despite the reported interest in Leicester City’s Harry Maguire and Tottenham Hotspur’s Toby Alderweireld.

Hernandez operated at left-back for France during the 2018 World Cup but can also play in central defence.

The Frenchman is fast closing on 100 first-team appearances for Atletico.

Meanwhile, David de Gea is unhappy with Manchester United’s latest contract offer and is holding out for a deal comparable with high earners Alexis Sanchez and Paul Pogba.

The Spaniard is out of contract next summer, though United can automatically trigger an additional year, and manager Jose Mourinho recently insisted that an announcement was imminent.

The Spaniard, who has been the club’s Player of the Year in four of the last five seasons, is widely regarded as the best goalkeeper in the world and wants a contract that reflects that.

However, he is still waiting to receive a contract offer in that ballpark, with United CEO Ed Woodward reluctant to give a goalkeeper the same salary as Pogba and Sanchez.

De Gea’s £350,000-a-week basic salary demand would make him by far the biggest earner at United.