Manchester United ‘considering January move for Takefusa Kubo’

Manchester United could move for Real Sociedad attacker Takefusa Kubo in January, according to a report.

Manchester United could reportedly make a move for Real Sociedad attacker Takefusa Kubo when the January transfer window opens for business.

Jadon Sancho is set to leave Old Trafford at the start of 2024, which will almost certainly put the Red Devils in the market for a replacement.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe‘s arrival as a minority shareholder will allegedly boost Man United’s January budget, meanwhile, with the club said to be preparing to spend after a difficult start to the campaign.

The 20-time English champions are expected to move for a new attacker, and according to journalist Ekrem Konur, Kubo is a genuine target for the club at the start of the new year.

Konur also claims that Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United are keeping a close eye on his form at Real Sociedad with a view to potentially making offers in January.

Manchester United's Antony in action with Real Sociedad's Takefusa Kubo on September 8, 2022© Reuters

Kubo famously represented Barcelona‘s academy between 2011 and 2015, but the Catalan side were later found to have violated FIFA’s international transfer policy, and he was then deemed ineligible, which led to him returning to Japan with FC Tokyo.

The 22-year-old returned to Europe with Real Madrid in 2019, but he did not make a single appearance for Los Blancos and eventually joined Real Sociedad permanently in 2022 after spending time on loan with Mallorca, Villarreal and Getafe.

Kubo has scored 14 goals and registered 12 assists in 60 appearances for his current side in all competitions, including five goals and three assists in 16 outings this term.

The Japan international has five goals and two assists in 12 La Liga appearances, while he has provided one assist in four Champions League fixtures.

Real Sociedad's Takefusa Kubo celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on May 2, 2023© Reuters

Kubo’s contract with Real Sociedad is due to run until June 2027, but it is understood that there is a release clause of €60m (£52m) inserted into the agreement.

Barcelona head coach Xavi said that the attacker is “a footballer of a very high level” and called him “one of the most important players at Real Sociedad” ahead of the recent meeting between the two teams.

Real Sociedad will strongly resist any January interest in him, but the club would be in a difficult position if Man United paid the buy-out fee in his contract.

Kubo, who has been capped on 28 occasions by Japan, managed nine goals and nine assists in 44 appearances for his Basque side in all competitions last season, and he featured against Man United in the Europa League in 2022-23.

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