Manchester United are reportedly in talks to sign Tom Huddlestone on a shock free transfer. The midfielder, 35, is without a club after leaving Hull City at the end of last season. And the reports claims United are ready to offer Huddlestone a player-coach role with their Under-21s.
The position would be similar to the one taken up by Paul McShane last year. The former Irish international has since retired from playing but continues to work at United as a development coach. The move for Huddlestone appears to have come out of the blue.
But Red Devils fans can rest assured he is not an alternative to Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong. Tom Huddlestone would provide United’s youth ranks with plenty of experience. The playmaker has made 580 senior appearances for the likes of Derby, Hull and Tottenham.
Huddlestone also won four caps for England, with the last coming in 2012. He would become the latest former player to join United’s ranks. That’s after Benni McCarthy took up a role as an attacking coach with Erik ten Hag’s senior squad.
The former Blackburn and Porto striker will look to bring the best out of stars including Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford. However, he is unlikely to work with Cristiano Ronaldo, who continues to force an exit.
United chiefs were left unimpressed with the veteran’s behavior in Sunday’s friendly against Rayo Vallecano. Ronaldo first sulked after receiving instructions from Ten Hag. He then left the game early, missing the post-match talk from his new boss. But with few takers in the transfer market, Ronaldo could yet end up staying put albeit reluctantly.