Manchester United have defensive transfer options that go further than Dayot Upamecano


With the signing of Donny van de Beek in the bag and the Jadon Sancho pursuit continuing, Manchester United could be turning their transfer market attentions to the addition of a new central defender to their squad.

Last summer saw the Reds spend £80million on the signing of Harry Maguire, but even though United are prioritising attacking options they are not ruling out signing a defender if the right opportunity comes along.

Dayot Upamecano is believed to be a United target, but the Frenchman has only just signed a new contract with RB Leipzig and having already sold Timo Werner this summer the Bundesliga club won’t be keen to sell another key asset.

Here are three more realistic centre-back options for United.

Benoit Badiashile 

Club: Monaco

Age: 19

Nationality: France

It was reported late last month that an offer of €25m from United for Badiashile had been rejected by Monaco (as per RMC Sport via GFFN). The teenager is seen as one of the brightest young talents in the French game and already has more than 40 first-team appearances under his belt despite being only 19 years old.

Badiashile is physically imposing, standing at over 6ft tall, but is adept with the ball at his feet. Some speed alongside Maguire would help United mask the shortcomings of the England international and this is something the French youngster possesses. What’s more, Badiashile is left-footed, something that would give Solskjaer’s side balance at the back.

The singing of Badiashile would, however, be an investment in the future. Despite demonstrating maturity beyond his years for Monaco in Ligue 1 last season, the teenager is still raw and so it might not be the case that he becomes an automatic pick alongside Maguire as soon as he walks through the door.

Milan Skriniar 

Club: Inter

Age: 25

Nationality: Slovakia

His name has been a staple of the transfer market gossip column for some time and with good reason. Skriniar, often compared to Nemanja Vidic, has long been linked with a move to United. He would, in many ways, bring many of the physical qualities Solskjaer needs alongside Maguire.

Until now, Inter have demanded a fee of around £75m for the Slovakian. This would likely make him an even more expensive signing than Upamecano. Skriniar has, however, fallen out of favour under Antonio Conte at the San Siro meaning his asking price may have dropped. What’s more, Inter have already spent £75m on signings of their own this summer. They might have to balance the books.

Milan Skriniar of FC Internazionale

Skriniar isn’t the perfect candidate to be Maguire’s centre-back partner. He too is right-footed and so Maguire would likely have to continue in his role on the right side of central defence. The former Leicester City man has always been more effective and more comfortable on the left side.

Pau Torres

Club: Villarreal

Age: 23

Nationality: Spain

If Solskjaer is steadfast in his belief that a left-footer is needed to complement Maguire, Torres might be the best qualified candidate. The 23-year-old enjoyed an impressive season in La Liga last term, becoming a mainstay in the Villarreal team and earning himself a call up to the Spain squad for the first time.

Torres is left-footed, which would complement Maguire, and is exceptionally quick off the mark, another trait that would surely get the best out of the United captain. There is also a clause in Torres’ contract which would allow the Old Trafford outfit to sign him for €45m. That would be a relative bargain.

While standing at over 6ft tall, Torres is somewhat slight and might have to bulk up to handle the physical demands of the Premier League and the English game in general, but the potential is there. The release clause in Torres’ contract means it would be easier, and cheaper, to do a deal for him than Upamecano.

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