Manchester United are unsure about whether to pursue a move for Toby Alderweireld, according to The Sun.
The Spurs centre-back has one year left on his current contract and a clause in the deal allows him to leave for a cut-price fee of £25m.
United are interested in the Dutchman but are uncertain about making a bid as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would prefer to improve his current central defensive players as opposed to signing new ones.
With a mammoth rebuild in the works at Old Trafford, the Norwegian manager is prioritising the signing of a right-back, which could see the Red Devils avoid any deal for Alderweireld.
The premise of Solskjaer’s thought process is smart and sustainable as United will need to rely on many of their current players with a full rebuild in just one transfer window unrealistic.
However, Solskjaer needs to find the right balance between sustainably building his new United team and missing out on decisive targets.
In Victor Lindelof, United have a potential gem that should only improve and Eric Bailly could still be a dominant force if he can shake off his nagging injury troubles. Outside of those two, though, there shouldn’t be a lot of excitement in United’s centre-back options.
Both Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have had countless opportunities and numerous managers to draw inspiration from, but neither has truly developed into a starting calibre defender. Solskjaer cannot trust these two players to raise their game either – they’re already at peak age.
Whereas each of United’s centre-backs carry significant risk, Alderweireld is a proven top-notch Premier League defender who is still at his best. The former Ajax defender would provide a reliable base to build the rest of United’s defence around, enabling the other defenders to learn from his quality and experience, while coming at a bargain price.
Faced with an inconsistent defence that conceded 54 goals last season, only second to West Ham in the Premier League’s top ten, Solskjaer cannot simply trust his current options to improve when there is a player of Alderweireld’s quality on the market who’d instantly solve some of United’s problems at the back.
The inexperienced boss must find the right balance between sustainable squad development and downright silly mistakes.