Securing the services of Benjamin Pavard from Bayern Munich will cost Manchester United in the region of €30 million, according to L’Equipe.
The French outlet believes United are pushing ahead with the defender as their “priority”, with club keen to replace, and upgrade, the imminently departing Harry Maguire.
As explained here, West Ham have agreed a deal in principle to sign the former-United captain, bringing a protracted saga to a mutually beneficial end, for both club and player.
Maguire had fallen down the pecking order at United, realistically slotting in as the fifth-choice option at centre-back, behind Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Victor Lindelof, and even Luke Shaw. He had also been stripped of the captaincy; a move Maguire described as leaving him “extremely disappointed.”
West Ham have reportedly offered £30 million for the English centre half, as well as the potential captaincy. Maguire, acutely aware of the need to play regularly to maintain his berth in the national team, is said to be open to the move.
This would create a need for a new centre back in the United squad.
The club had been strongly linked with Jean-Clair Todibo, as well as Edmond Tabsopa, but L’Equipe contends that Erik ten Hag has pushed United officials to target Pavard as the primary candidate. The French defender has been at the “top of Dutchman’s list” for several months now.
The French paper believes a transfer fee around the €30 million (£25.9 million) mark would suffice, as Pavard only has twelve months remaining on his contract with Bayern.
The defender has also expressed a “desire” to experience a new league to Bayern officials, who have been planning for his departure this summer. A deal for Kyle Walker to relocate from Manchester to Bavaria was thought to be close, though this appears to have fallen through.
It would represent an excellent price for United however, particularly once the fee for Maguire is factored into the equation.
Pavard is a talented centre half, proficient with the ball and a tactically astute defender. He is also equally capable of playing at right-back, having lined up twenty-three times in the heart of defence and twenty times at fullback for Bayern last season. Pavard won the World Cup with France at right back in 2018.
This flexibility will be a welcome addition for Ten Hag, with continued uncertainty over the best option at right-back – Aaraon Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot both possessing opposing weaknesses – as well as the ongoing fitness issues of Raphael Varane.
Pavard offers a solution to both problems, at a price which constitutes a bargain for a World Cup-winning defender.