July 25, 2019
Manchester United reportedly have an insurance plan should they come to a dead end in signing Leicester City defender Harry Maguire this summer. It was reported on Wednesday that the Old Trafford club would target Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Toby Alderweireld, who has a £25 million release clause, which might expire today unactivated but he could be sold for £40 million before the window closes.
United have seemingly resurrected their interest in Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly once again this summer. The Daily Mail has reported this news, which might need to be taken with a pinch of salt. However, it could well be that United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is actively seeking to make changes at the club, which should have been made last summer with him backing the manager.
Koulibaly is rated at £85 million by his club, more than Magure is rated at by Leicester so it is clear that if United want to sign a central defender this summer, they will need to pay a world record fee for a defender. Obviously, Alderweireld will not be a world record signing, if United opted to move in that direction but interest in the Belgian does not seem as strong as that in Maguire, who has been linked for months now, also last summer.
The 28-year-old Senegal defender has been Napoli’s first choice for a number of seasons, also playing for his country during the AFCON tournament this summer, in which the country reached the final and were beaten 1-0 by Algeria. In the light that United conceded 54 goals in the Premier League alone last season, it is clear that some kind of reinforcement at the back is needed.
Of course, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has signed Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who based on the pre-season matches he has played this summer, is a great fit in this United team, securing the right-back position for a number of years and the challenge of Diogo Dalot will only reinforce that some more. Victor Lindelof has risen in stature after his performances during the past season and finding a capable partner for his this summer would improve his performances and that of the defence as a unit.
United has just two weeks left to finalise their summer transfer plans with some reinforcements needed in others areas on the pitch, especially if the likes of Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku end up leaving the club. United may need to think ahead and get deals for replacements lined up as the transfer window in Spain (Real Madrid – interested in Pogba) and Italy (Inter Milan – interested in Lukaku) closes much later than the Premier League window this summer.