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Who is Thomas Meunier, the PSG full-back being eyed-up for January transfer by Manchester United

Belgian right-back currently behind Dani Alves in the pecking order and may need to move to keep World Cup dream alive

When Paris Saint-Germain signed Dani Alves on a free transfer in the summer, it meant there were three right-backs on the books of the French club.

Serge Aurier, despite his off-field issues, was still deemed as one of the best prospects in the Parisian side.

Who is PSG defender Thomas Meunier? Football Whispers investigate

AFP
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Who is PSG defender Thomas Meunier? Football Whispers investigate

But the performances of Thomas Meunier convinced the club to sell the Ivory Coast international.


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But now only a deputy to Alves, Meunier won’t be content with his lot for long, especially with a World Cup on the horizon.

He could be set for a move away in January and is a target for Manchester United…. our friends at Football Whispers take a look at just who Meunier is…

Who is Thomas Meunier?

A look at PSG full-back and Manchester United target Thomas Meunier

Signed from Club Brugge for around £5million on the back of an impressive showing for Belgium at Euro 2016, PSG fans took little note of his arrival.

They deemed him not of the quality the club were looking for and with Aurier already at the club, Meunier was not expected to make much impact.


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During the pre-season tour of America, he gave a glimpse of what he could do when he scored twice in a 3-1 win over Real Madrid; the first a stunning left-footed effort from outside the box.

However, he would still, as expected, start the season as a back-up. But during the league campaign, Meunier slowly started to usurp Aurier in the starting XI.

He would go on to make 22 appearances, finishing with one goal and four assists as PSG finished second behind surprise Ligue 1 winners Monaco.

Thomas Meunier is set to leave PSG in January with Man United interested

Rex Features
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Thomas Meunier is set to leave PSG in January with Man United interested

But the signing of the Brazilian veteran full-back Alves this summer has meant Meunier has again found himself as second choice at PSG.

And now the 26-year-old Belgian has admitted he is frustrated by his lack of minutes at the Parc de Princes.

Asked about his dearth of opportunities in the PSG first-team by L’Equipe, he said: “Yes [I’m frustrated] because I want to play every match, whether it’s against Gueugnon, Niort of Bayern Munich.

“I want to be on the pitch but I play for one of the top five teams in the world. Here the back-ups and the starters are about the same level”

During his time in France, the right-back has shown to be very quick at pushing forward with the attack.

Thomas Meunier burst onto the scene with Belgium at Euro 2016

AP:Associated Press
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Thomas Meunier burst onto the scene with Belgium at Euro 2016

In the final third he has become a great option, but he is also a talented defender who doesn’t shirk his defensive duties.

Where he has also excelled is with his country.

Belgium qualified early for the World Cup and in seven appearances Meunier has contributed to 12 goals, including three goals and four assists in a stunning solo display against Gibraltar.

The now PSG fan-favourite has become the wide option from deep that Belgium have been lacking at full-back.

Having a natural player in that position has made a huge difference to his country and their performances have improved with him in their starting XI.

How much will he cost?

Thomas Meunier has shone in his few opportunities behind Dani Alves

AFP
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Thomas Meunier has shone in his few opportunities behind Dani Alves

Aurier cost Spurs the best part of £23m and although he is a little older, PSG will use this as the base for any interest in Meunier.

Contracted until 2020, any move for the defender won’t be easy or cheap and PSG will demand compensation if they are to let him leave.

Although he is their second-choice, the league-leaders see him as an alternative to Alves and someone who gives them similar qualities all-across the pitch.

Where is his most likely destination?

Thomas Meunier is currently on international duty with Belgium

Getty
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Thomas Meunier is currently on international duty with Belgium

Long linked with a move to Old Trafford, Meunier could become the long-term replacement to Antonio Valencia in the Manchester United defence.

“I’ve always said that one day, I would like to play in the Premier League,” Meunier said in an interview with Belgian site DH.

“On the other side of the channel, there are the stadiums, the fans, and I’ve never hidden that I’m a big fan of Manchester United, which remains, in my eyes, the real reference in the world of football.”

Thomas Meunier currently plays alongside stars such as Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani

EPA
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Thomas Meunier currently plays alongside stars such as Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani

While he has yet to play in the Champions League this season – Alves has been given the nod in the important games – he has played four of the eight league matches and already racked up two assists and a goal in the 6-2 win over Bordeaux.


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Meunier will know that his Brazilian team-mate, at 34-years-old, won’t last forever, and if he can keep his frustration at bay, he will eventually be PSG’s first option.

Once that happens, a move to United becomes a more difficult ask and Meunier, although a fan, might be happy to stay at the Parc des Princes for the foreseeable future.