• Enzo Fernandez was named the best young player of the World Cup
  • He scored a goal and provided an assist
  • Argentina won the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

Manchester United are reportedly ahead of Liverpool FC in the race to sign Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez.

Fernandez has emerged as one of the most promising midfielders among the current crop of players following an impressive run for Argentina in the recently-concluded FIFA World Cup. The 21-year-old Benfica player was named the Young Player of the Tournament as Argentina lifted the World Cup in Qatar.

The central midfielder, who netted a goal and an assist, is contracted with Benfica until 2027 after moving to Europe just earlier this year. In his maiden season with Benfica, Fernandez scored three goals and five assists in 24 matches in all competitions.

Liverpool have been heavily linked with Fernandez, with Spanish media outlet La Capital claiming that Jurgen Klopp and co. have already signed a pre-contract agreement with Benfica for the Argentinian midfielder.

However, Manchester United have now overtaken their Premier League rivals in the transfer race, reported Portuguese outlet UOL Esporte. Manchester United are ready to pay the central midfielder's release clause of around $128 million at Benfica.

The report also claimed that Liverpool may withdraw from the race to sign Fernandez to solely focus on Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham.

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Final - Argentina v France
Enzo Fernandez won the 2022 World Cup with Argentina Reuters

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has been trying to rebuild the Old Trafford side's midfield, with Christian Eriksen and Casemiro joining the club last summer. The Red Devils were also after FC Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong for three months over the summer but were unable to strike a deal with the player or the Catalan club as the negotiations were hampered by Barcelona's financial issues.

Both Casemiro and Eriksen have taken on leading roles at Old Trafford with Scott McTominay regularly featuring in Ten Hag's plans. Manchester United have also extended Fred's contract at the club by 12 months. His current deal was set to expire at the end of the 2022-23 campaign.

Manchester United also have Donny van de Beek, who excelled under Ten Hag during their time together at Ajax, in their squad, but he is yet to seal a regular place in Manchester.

In the upcoming January transfer window, Manchester United will be on the lookout for a forward, especially since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. It was reported that Ten Hag and co. have the likes of PSV Eindhoven star Cody Gakpo and Atletico Madrid's Joao Felix on their radar.

Manchester United recently defeated Burnley 2-0 in the Round of 16 of the League Cup. The Red Devils' upcoming game is against Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Tuesday.