Jose Mourinho is set to choose between Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld and Leicester City’s Harry Maguire as his search for a settled centre back pairing at Old Trafford enters its third summer (Daily Express).
Talks with Spurs for Alderweireld have been ongoing since May, but Daniel Levy is holding out for almost £70 million for the defender. This figure seems ridiculous for a player with just one year left on his contract, however Levy is reportedly using the £75 million fee Liverpool signed Virgil van Dijk for in January as his reasoning behind the excessive asking price for the Belgian (Metro).
If Levy does not change his stance on the transfer fee, United are likely to move for Harry Maguire. Alongside Kieran Trippier and Jordan Pickford, Harry Maguire was one of England’s star players this summer and has easily added an extra £20 million onto his valuation. Leicester are in no need to sell the Englishman on the cheap and are unwilling to sell the player to United or any other club for anything under £50 million. Maguire’s composure on the ball and ariel presence at the World Cup has reportedly impressed Mourinho as his search for a John Terry like defender continues.
Leonardo Bonucci was also high on the United manager’s wishlist following AC Milan’s recent financial problems, although the Italian reportedly favours a move to PSG if he is to leave Milan this Summer.
Reports have also suggested that Mourinho will not receive the money from the club for a new centre back unless he offloads one of his current group (Mirror). In a recent interview with MUTV, Jose Mourinho stated that Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly are likely to start the new Premier League season alongside each other in the centre of defence. Taking this into context, Phil Jones is likely to provide cover alongside last summer’s centre back signing Victor Lindelof which would leave Marcos Rojo as the man most likely to be sold by the Red Devils this Summer. The Argentine is yet to meet back up with the United squad this preseason despite being knocked out the World Cup with Argentina over three weeks ago which will not help his case of remaining a United player for the next campaign.
Whoever United make a move for at centre back this summer, it is clear to see that the player will be under pressure to immediately hit the ground running at Old Trafford with United looking to win the League for the first time since 2012/13.