In Focus: Man United target Carlos Soler more likely to replace Herrera than Carrick

According to reports in The Independent, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is confident of doing a deal to sign Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler, who is rated at €25m (£21.9m) according to Transfermarkt.

What’s the word, then?

Well, The Independent says that following the addition of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal, Mourinho is ready to turn his attentions to strengthening his midfield and to find a long-term replacement for Michael Carrick, with Marouane Fellaini also potentially leaving either this month or in the summer when his contract is due to expire.

The Independent says that while Nice’s Jean Seri and Shakhtar Donetsk’s Fred are targets, the Portuguese boss is confident of sealing deals for Soler and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Julian Weigl.

How has Soler done this season?

The 21-year-old was a regular for the La Liga high-flyers before suffering an injury that has seen him miss their previous eight fixtures in all competitions.

The young Spaniard has shown his versatility by featuring in central midfield, as well as on the left and primarily on the right, for Valencia this term, and he has scored one goal and provided a further four assists in 15 Spanish top flight appearances.

According to WhoScored.com, Soler’s main strengths are his ability to hold on to the ball and his through-balls, while his weaknesses are his tackling, crossing and defensive contribution.

He is certainly good on the ball though and has a passing accuracy of 83.2% in 15 La Liga matches this season, while he has made 15 key passes and successfully completed 10 of the 23 dribbles he has attempted.

Would he be a good signing for United?

It’s difficult to say.

While Soler primarily played in central midfield last season and impressed, he has been far less effective on the right-hand side for Valencia this term.

If United plan to play the 21-year-old in the middle then he could certainly do a job, but the fact that his defensive contribution is said to be one of his weaknesses is something that would need to change if he did move to Old Trafford to work under Mourinho.

While the Portuguese boss is looking for a replacement for Carrick, the Spain U21 international looks to be more similar to his compatriot Ander Herrera given his attributes, with the 28-year-old only having 18 months left on his contract at Old Trafford.