Manchester United U23s manager Neil Wood has revealed centre-back Teden Mengi is likely to be sent out on loan in January, opening the door for a possible return to Derby County.
The 19-year-old spent the second half of last season on loan at Pride Park and helped the Rams escape relegation from the Championship.
Mengi was heavily linked with a return to Derby in the summer window, with the two clubs understood to have had a verbal agreement over another loan move, but their EFL-enforced transfer embargo meant Wayne Rooney was unable to sign the centre-back.
The events of the summer have left Rooney with a threadbare squad and should a new owner be in place by January, the Rams boss will likely be keen to sign some reinforcements.
It appears Mengi will be available as United’s U23s boss outlined their plans for the defender.
Speaking to Laurie Whitwell from The Athletic, he said: “He spent pre-season with the first-team and he’s come to pick up game time with us.
“It is important he keeps getting confidence and by January his pathway might change. I think he would probably go out on loan.”
Rooney’s current options at centre-back include 39-year-old Phil Curtis Davies, 36-year-old Curtis Davies, and 34-year-old Richard Stearman – all of whom were signed as free agents in the summer.
The door is open for Derby re-sign Mengi on loan in January, though a few things will need to fall into place at the Pride Park club first.
That is definitely a boost as the teenager would be a fantastic addition to Rooney’s squad, adding some youth and energy to a centre-back group that has impressed this term but is overreliant on experience.
There have been links to United defender Phil Jones but this is the sort of signing that the East Midlands club should be making if they’re able to do so when the winter window opens.
He’ll be hungry to impress and full of energy, while he knows the manager, the club, and many of the players from last season, which should help him settle.
It’s a move that makes sense for all three parties and this update is a first step toward it happening.