It’s looking increasingly likely that Manchester United are looking for a cut-price centre-back this summer as they appear to have cooled interest in what was another top target.
Having reportedly dropped their pursuit of RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano weeks before he signed an agreement to join Bayern Munich, they are now said to be backing away from their next favourite, Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, due to his asking price.
Kounde was widely touted to be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s proposed addition to the centre-back roster, but with Sevilla reportedly unwilling to listen to offers, his €80 million (£69 million) release clause is considered too high a price to pay by the Red Devils.
As a result, a third favourite has now emerged in the form of Villareal’s Pau Torres. According to Eurosport, ‘Torres might yet emerge as a more realistic target at centre back. He is reported to have a release clause of around £43m which seems to be about the maximum we should expect United to spend on a defender.’
The Reds have been linked with the 24-year-old a number of times in the past and Solskjaer is reportedly keen to get a left-footer, but there is a big problem: United need a pacy centre-back to compensate for Harry Maguire’s lack of speed, and Torres is not it. In fact, in some ways, it could be argued that he is too similar to Maguire and/or Lindelof to provide the right blend.
Other names that are reportedly on the shortlist include RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate, Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic and Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings.
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