Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Arsenal will not be competing with Manchester United for the signature of Rick Karsdorp. The Feyenoord defender has been the target for United for more than a month now. It is expected that the club will be making a move for the 21-year-old if they are unsuccessful in the bid for Swedish defender Victor Lindelof. The latter would cost in the region of £38 million making him one of the most expensive options available out there. As a result, Karsdorp is being increasingly seen as a viable proposition. Wenger, when quizzed about Arsenal’s interest in the defender, said:
“No, we are currently not looking for a defender. So your information is not quite right.
“Do I know him? Yeah, he’s definitely a good player, but we are now focused on winning the next game.”
Manchester United have reasonable cover in the right back positions with Antonio Valencia being the first choice at the moment. Timothy Fosu-Mensah is being molded as the player for the future. As a result, United can cope to a certain extent in this position and the club are reportedly mulling at the possibility of canceling the deal for Lindelof. There are now reports stating that the deal has hit a roadblock as the defender is on the verge of signing a new deal with Benfica.
After coming through the ranks at Feyenoord, Karsdorp has caught the attention of many clubs with his brilliant performances this season. He has featured in 17 league matches and has scored one goal. He has also had three assists to his name. As an attacking right back, Karsdorp certainly fits into the existing profile of wingbacks at the club. Valencia, Luke Shaw, Matteo Darmian, and Daley Blind are players with a lot of attacking responsibilities just as they have to defend. Karsdorp would fit certainly well amongst these players, while he also has the height Jose Mourinho always looks for in a full-back.
Karsdorp has a contract with Feyenoord until the summer of 2020, thus making the prospect of convincing the Dutch outfit to sell as extremely difficult. Yet, United are hoping that they can persuade the Dutch outfit with more than £12 million on the table. It will certainly not be a bad amount of money for a player, who recently made his debut for the Dutch national team.
Wenger is understood to have been in the market for a new right-back since Mathieu Debuchy has been unable to recover from his long-standing injury problems. The former Newcastle United right back has played very little football since moving to the Emirates stadium in a £12 million deal in the summer of 2014. The 31-year-old has featured in only eight matches over the last two seasons, while he spent the majority of the last campaign on loan at Bordeaux in order to recover his fitness.