Manchester United ‘would love’ to sign a new central defender this summer, according to B/R Football journalist Dean Jones.
The club have seen just how effective investing in new defensive options can be this season, through the arrivals of Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Both figures have come straight into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s starting XI, offering some much needed consistency and quality – two key factors that have contributed to a much more rigid looking backline.
Building from the back has been an integral starting basis in the Norwegian’s rebuilding job, as he wants to lay down a solid foundation for the team to succeed on. United have finally settled on a recognised, starting defensive line, with the likes of Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw, all establishing efficient relationships.
Solskjaer appears keen to add some depth to such selections though, particularly considering the injuries suffered by Axel Tuanzebe and Eric Bailly this season. The latter has re-entered the picture since the turn of the new year, but the threat of more setbacks always seems to linger over both individuals.
Dayot Upamecano (via SkySports) and Ben White (via The Athletic) have reportedly been indented as the two main transfer targets, as its clear that United are prioritising defenders that are comfortable with the ball at their feet. Both figures share this attribute, whilst also being under the age of 23, with Solskjaer wanting to establish a core of young, promising talents in the squad.
White may fit the desirable British mould over the Frenchman Upamecano, but this will unlikely prove to be a deciding factor between the two. The most pivotal aspect seems to be price, as the club are prioritising the big-money figures of Jack Grealish and Jadon Sancho (via B/R).
According to France Football, €40m would be enough to capture Upamecano, as the RB Leipzig man enters the last two years of his contract. Not many reports have speculated a price for White, but his parent club Brighton will expect offers, following his successful loan spell at Leeds United this season.
Regardless of which option the club pursues, it’s another piece of refreshing news to see United target a specific profile of player. With Chris Smalling and Phil Jones reportedly on the way out, this opens up another opportunity for the squad to replace stagnating figures with more promising talents.
Solskjaer has been rather ruthless with his clearing out of players that don’t fit the bill, but this a necessary step to help get United back to the top.
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