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Move Close? Manchester United Step up Hunt for Former Atletico Madrid Defender as Ten Hag Identifies Him as The Seventh Signing

Erik ten Hag, Manchester United

Manchester United are ready to offer a deal to free agent Santiago Arias, with Erik ten Hag personally requesting the transfer.

The Red Devils are ready to make an offer for the Colombian who could add competition for Diogo Dalot. Ten Hag is the one pushing to bring the former Atletico Madrid defender to Old Trafford.

The new United boss managed to sign six new players in the summer, spending around £200m in the process. His philosophy is starting to take shape, with the club winning their last four Premier League games on the trot. United have strengthened in most of the key areas of their squad by bringing in Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen, Lisandro Martinez, Casemiro, Antony and Martin Dubravka.

Santiago Arias playing for Atletico Madrid, Manchester United, Santiago Arias
Image Obtained Via Besoccer

Santiago Arias: Player Profile

Born in Medellin, the second-largest city in Colombia after the capital Bogota, Arias grew up at the youth academy of capital-based La Equidad and made his professional debut for the club aged just 17, back in 2009.

During his time with the youth national team, Arias drew interest from Europe and was signed by Sporting CP. He made just ten appearances (stats via transfermarkt) before interest came from elsewhere and Arias saw an opportunity to further his development and moved to PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands in 2013.

Santiago Arias had great success at PSV, making 172 appearances for the Dutch side while winning the Eredivisie title three times in five seasons with the club – even earning a place in the league’s 2017/18 Team of the Season. His high-quality performances earned him a move to Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2018 for whom he made just over 50 appearances.

Santiago Arias is capable with both feet, able to play long and short passes with full confidence and would rather play a risky pass if he sees the possibility of a substantial reward.

With concentration levels through the roof, which help him to make tackles and interceptions consistently, Arias makes it incredibly difficult to get past him and having worked under Diego Simeone at Atletico, he will have only improved over the last two years.

What makes Arias special is his never-say-die attitude and bottomless energy tank which he certainly makes the most of in every game he plays. Arias will never shy away from a challenge, be it in the air or on the ground. His defensive work is his biggest strength, but that does not mean he’s incapable of joining in the attack.

In 2020, Arias was loaned to Germany with Bayer Leverkusen before ending up in Spain with Granada in 2021.

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Manchester United are preparing a contract for Santiago Arias as they look to sign the South American defender on a short-term deal. As the Colombian international is a free agent, he can sign for a new club at any point even outside the transfer window. So there is a possibility that Arias could complete a proposed move to Man Utd over the next few days.

Arias has played over 300 games during the course of his career and has over 50 caps for the Colombian national team, so he would be an experienced backup for Dalot if Manchester United end up securing the free transfer deal.

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