Bruno Martins Indi was said to be a top target for Manchester United during the World Cup, but the Feyenoord centre-back has recently signed a contract with Porto, according to reports, meaning United will have to look elsewhere for defensive additions.
United will be desperate to land at least one centre-back this summer after seeing Nemanja Vidic sign with Inter Milan and Rio Ferdinand move away on a free. It will be important that the club find a way to replace the experience and leadership qualities lost through both players.
But the World Cup and Louis van Gaal’s contacts within the Dutch camp are offering up solutions to the problem. As well as that, Premier League players are also said to be on the market, which will be a bonus over signing foreign-based defenders.
With money not a problem in United’s rebuild this summer, here are five alternatives to Bruno Martins Indi.
Publically, Arsenal say they’re not interested in selling Thomas Vermaelen, especially to Manchester United. But Arsene Wenger has a history of letting go of important squad members to local rivals, and there’s a good chance this one could go through.
United are said to be looking to help the Belgian international to kick start his career, with Vermaelen having fallen down the pecking order at Arsenal.
If he can rediscover his good form, he’d be a fantastic signing for United. The reported fee of £12 million would also be a bargain for a Premier League-ready centre-back with Champions League and international experience.
Dejan Lovren reportedly handed in a transfer request before Croatia kicked off the World Cup in the tournament opener against Brazil. The Southampton centre-back has been at the club for a season and is now looking for a move further up the table.
Liverpool and Arsenal are said to have shown interest, with the former reportedly looking to seal a £15 million for the Croatian. But Manchester United can offer Lovren just as much over the course of his career. He’s adapted extremely well to the Premier League and has seemingly put all the troubles from his Lyon days behind him.
This is a player who is approaching his prime and could be a regular in the United team for many years to come.
According to reports, Stefan de Vrij will move to Manchester United this summer for £8 million. The centre-back is said to have only one year remaining on his contract with Feyenoord, allowing for such a low fee.
De Vrij has been a regular with the Netherlands at the World Cup, and it makes plenty of sense for Louis van Gaal to select the young defender as one of his summer signings when he moves to United.
De Vrij, who scored one of Holland’s five goals in their win over Spain, has a bright future ahead of him and should blossom into one of the Premier League’s best under van Gaal.
Hector Moreno was one of Mexico’s better performers at this World Cup. The centre-back has also been a staple in Espanyol’s team, winning the club’s Player of the Year award two seasons ago. But the 26-year-old is far too good to go unnoticed any longer and the World Cup may provide him with the move he deserves.
Manchester United would be an excellent destination for the Mexican international, who has all the strength, power and defensive awareness to replace Nemanja Vidic.
The major problem is Moreno’s injury suffered against the Netherlands on Sunday, a fractured tibia which should see him miss the start of the season. But there is potential here for a long-term success story at Old Trafford. Moreno has many good years ahead and should be far cheaper than other high-profile targets.
Saying Diego Godin has been important for his club and country would be an enormous understatement. The Uruguayan international has come up with vital goals in this World Cup and at club level for Atletico Madrid, winning his side the Spanish league title with his headed equaliser against Barcelona.
Even though it has been club teammate Miranda who has been linked with a move away from Atletico, Godin would be an equally impressive signing for United. Both are experienced centre-backs, who have comfortably formed one of the best partnerships over the past season across all of European football.
Godin excels in all aspects of defending and it’s difficult to pick out a weak side to his game. He’d make a great addition to a youthful back line at Old Trafford.