Mooted as Manchester United’s top defensive target for January, Diego Godin may be one, well another one, to escape their grasp.
Atletico Madrid are believed to be holding out for a release cause-triggering £28.5m offer for their key defender, which may put off the Red Devils… even though the fabled ‘war chest’ has been spoken of.
But with Louis van Gaal’s side’s clear weakness being at the heart of their backline, something needs to be done, which means that another target is needed. But don’t fear United fans, here are FIVE others to consider…
With rumours suggesting that the Hammers ace is holding out on committing himself to a new deal in east London, talk of a cut-price January switch has been doing the rounds. The New Zealand ace has been impressive for the high-flying Irons this term, which has attracted a host of teams at the upper end of the Premier League, including United.
Although not a name that’s likely to get pulses at Old Trafford racing, Reid is a definite upgrade on the likes of Paddy McNair, Tyler Blackett and Chris Smalling, with his composure and experience something the Red Devils currently lack at the heart of their backline. To boot, he will only cost around £8m, which will keep funds in place for a central midfielder.
If Godin is off the menu, then his defensive partner Miranda may be an option. The 30-year-old centre-back is known to be on United’s agenda, with scouts from the club rumoured to have been watching him in action in recent times. A key member of Atleti’s backline over the course of the last few campaigns, Miranda has helped the Rojiblancos to domestic cup and League successes, as well as their impressive journey to the Champions League Final earlier this year.
Although entering the back end of his career, the Brazilian is certainly an upgrade on LVG’s current choices, and could be worth a punt at around £20m.
The Portuguese hard man is another enforcer to have found his name aligned with United in the past few weeks. The Real Madrid ace is known for his ‘robust’ style of defending, which, although risky, could add a new dimension to the Red Devils’ backline, which has been criticised for a lack of conviction.
For around £15m, the 31-year-old is a decent short-term option, and could provide a greater level of leadership and influence from the back.
While Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane is widely seen as the best young centre-back in Spanish football, Laporte has emerged as a genuine rival for that crown in recent times. The Athletic Bilbao the 20-year-old is already a regular first-teamer for the Basque side since moving up from their youth ranks, and has been capped at U-21 level for France.
Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea are other names to have been aligned with Laporte, meaning that a bidding way is expected for the £30m-rated starlet.
Even though he was released by United over the summer, Vidic has already been mooted as a ‘quick fix’ for Van Gaal. The Serbian is certainly not at the peak of his powers anymore – just ask anybody who has been watching Inter Milan this term – and is already available for a cut-price move, according to some rumours.
Although not the force that captained the Red Devils to league and cup successes, Vidic would offer guidance to youngsters and leadership at the heart of United’s backline, which may appeal to LVG.