Manchester United are lining up a £65m bid for Harry Maguire but must sell a central defender first, according to the Daily Mail.
The Mail report that Jose Mourinho was so impressed with the commanding centre-half’s performances for England at this summer’s World Cup that he wants to bring him to Old Trafford to bolster his flimsy backline.
They report that the transfer fee could get up to around £65m after Virgil van Dijk’s January transfer inflated the central defensive market and that means that United must offload one of the five existing players they already have in Maguire’s role.
They say that means that Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo – the three senior centre halves at the club not signed by Mourinho – are all at risk of the chop before the deadline on August 9.
Of the three defenders that United are looking to offload, none are perfect – if they were, Mourinho would be keeping them – but Argentine international Rojo is the most enticing option.
Jones and Smalling would be homegrown players, which appeals in a squad registration sense, but they both haven’t evolved past the point of not having a mistake in them constantly.
That is not what Michael Keane needs next to him. Rojo is a fiery character, a defensive organiser, and at 6ft 2in with a good leap, commanding in the air.
He is not short on pace and when he gets a run of games under his belt, he is a rugged, physical defender who would add international experience to Everton’s backline.
Marco Silva would just need to resist the urge to play him at left-back, where he is nothing short of disastrous, as evidenced by the 2016/17 EFL Cup final, where Nathan Redmond tore him apart down the Southampton right.