Manchester United need a new centre-back according to Gary Neville and with the club failing to sign a new defender during the summer, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward can make amends in the January transfer window.
According to this week’s edition of German publication SportBILD, via Sport Witness, the Red Devils are interested in signing David Alaba from Bayern Munich, who is set to leave the Allianz Arena as a free agent at the end of the season.
It’s claimed the defender has shown no interest in signing a new contract with the Bundesliga champions and seems destined for the exit.
Premier League rivals Chelsea and Champions League clubs Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are all competing to secure the services of the versatile Austria international.
Alaba has been in imperious form for Hans Dieter-Flick’s side, having made five appearances in the Champions League, averaging 1.4 tackles, 2.6 clearances and 1.2 interceptions per game, via WhoScored.
You can’t pick many holes in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, but if there’s one glaring weakness, it’s in the heart of his defence, as Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof have struggled for consistency so far this season.
With United narrowly edging past Sheffield United, it’s becoming almost obvious that the defensive pairing don’t meet the standards at Old Trafford, with the Evening Standard insisting Maguire looked “solid if unremarkable“, while Alex Telles hasn’t looked particularly convincing at left-back, either.
Woodward would be wise to sanction a move for Alaba as not only would he provide an alternative to the two centre-backs, but he’d also be able to add cover and competition in the midfield.
His former manager and current Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola once described him as an “unbelievable talent” during his three-year stint in charge of the German giants, saying:
“He can play anywhere. He’s quick, good in the build-up and always 100 per cent focused. Without doubt he can be one of the best centre-backs in the world. He’s a huge gift for Bayern.”
High praise indeed from someone who is widely regarded as one of the best managers in the game (sorry United fans).
Valued at £58m via Transfermarkt, the 28-year-old has made over 400 appearances for Bayern, scoring 32 goals and supplying 49 assists in all competitions, while he has won the Champions League twice, the Bundesliga nine times and six German League Cups. Not bad, not bad at all.
This kind of versatile defender with more presence, pace and athleticism would be most welcome at Old Trafford and to be able to sign a player of his calibre for a cut-price deal would be a shrewd bit of business.