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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

“A bit of Roy Keane about him”… Manchester United reportedly interested in £9m midfielder

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Manchester United are reported to be eyeing Norwegian midfielder Sivert Mannsverk, report Jeunes Footeaux.

Mannsverk, 20, plays for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s former club Molde and is attracting interest from clubs across Europe, including United.

One of the clubs reported to also be interested is current United manager Erik ten Hag’s former side, Ajax.

So who is Mannsverk and what could he offer Manchester United?

Sivert Mannsverk club record

Mannsverk made his debut for Sogndal in 2019 when he was just 16, handed his first start by former Leeds midfielder Eirik Bakke.

Molde snapped him up in summer 2021 after 54 appearances for his side, and being voted Sogndal player of the year.

He has gone onto play 62 matches for Molde, where he has also played Europa Conference League games, scoring three times in eight matches.

Goals are not typically a strong feature of his game; he has 11 career strikes to his name so far, across 116 appearances.

Photo By Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Sivert Mannsverk international record

Mannsverk has been capped by Norway at every level from under-15s through to under-21s, making 19 youth international appearances.

He was called into the Norway senior squad recently but has not yet made his debut for his country.

Sivert Mannsverk best position

Mannsverk says he is a player who can contribute in all areas of the midfield.

He told Nettavisen: “I play a box-to-box position and it suits me perfectly as I want to contribute both offensively and defensively. It is part of my playing style to press and be annoying for the opponents.”

He also admits he doesn’t mind winding opponents up, commenting: “It’s not so much verbal, but it’s little things like stepping on other people’s toes and stuff like that. I feel there should be a bit of a temperature in football, and in that sense I contribute to that.”

Sivert Mannsverk player profile

  • Full name: Sivert Heggheim Mannsverk
  • Age: 20
  • Height: 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
  • Date of birth: 8th May 2002
  • Nationality: Norway
  • Place of birth: Øvre Årdal, Norway
  • Club: Molde
  • Position: Central Midfielder

What they say

Molde manager Erling Moe is a big fan and compared Mannsverk to a popular Manchester United legend.

Speaking to Nettavisen, Moe said: “There’s a bit of Roy Keane about him when he’s where he’s supposed to be.

“He is sensible in his choices, and then he is very tough in the head. He’s tough in duels and tackles, and goes in and does the dirty work.”

Verdict

Mannsverk could get caught between two scenarios for Manchester United, which could combine to make a deal unlikely.

The first is the January 2023 state of play. Manchester United’s funds are limited and the club’s main priority is to sign a striker.

Unless there is a big player sale this month like Donny van de Beek, then it’s unlikely United will spend on a midfielder, even though Mannsverk is reasonably priced.

When it comes to summer 2023, Manchester United are more likely to be targeting bigger names, with a takeover expected to be completed by then.

While possible United will move for Mannsverk if Erik ten Hag likes him enough – the higher funds potentially available will probably see the club target a more proven player at the position.

Dan is a Manchester United supporter who has worked in online publishing for more than 10 years. He writes exclusively for United In Focus, leading the site’s growth in news, analysis and match coverage, and is also head of sport content for GRV Media.

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