Man United prepare surprise Cedric swoop

According to the Manchester Evening News, Manchester United are considering a move for Southampton defender Cedric Soares in this summer’s transfer window.

What’s the story?

Antonio Valencia has been a wonderful servant for United, with the Ecuador international developing into a fine right-back after struggling to make his mark as a winger.

Valencia’s long-term future at Old Trafford is believed to be in doubt, however, and the United fans have recently called for head coach Jose Mourinho to sign an upgrade this summer.

According to the Manchester Evening News, one name under consideration is Cedric, with the 26-year-old widely expected to leave St Mary’s at the end of the season regardless of whether the Saints manage to survive in the Premier League.

Mourinho is believed to be an admirer of Cedric, who impressed for Portugal at Euro 2016, although it would still be somewhat of a surprise if the deal went through this summer.

How has Cedric performed at Southampton?

The Portugal international joined Southampton from Sporting Lisbon in 2015, and is fast closing on 100 appearances for the English club in all competitions.

Cedric impressed during his first two seasons at St Mary’s, but it has been a difficult campaign for all of those involved with the Saints this term.

The defender has scored once and provided two assists in 32 appearances in all competitions this season though, and has shown a good level of consistency where a number of his teammates have not.

Tottenham Hotspur have also recently been linked with Cedric, and he will not be short of interest if Southampton do decide to sell at the end of the season.

It is difficult to determine whether the Portuguese is good enough to be first choice at United, but there is no question that he would be good back-up if Matteo Darmian departed.

Valued at £13.5m according to transfermarkt.co.uk, Cedric’s capture as a back-up to a potential new first-choice right-back at Old Trafford would make perfect sense.