Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Fabrizio Romano confirms Man Utd have ‘top’ January objective, but four moves more likely than Prem raid

Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi, Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins

Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi and Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has stated that Manchester United will pursue a ‘top centre-back’ in 2024, with the move potentially happening as early as January – but four defenders are more likely to join than Crystal Palace star Marc Guehi.

Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag has had to deal with a plethora of defensive injuries already this season, with the likes of Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Luke Shaw, Sergio Reguilon and Tyrell Malacia all spending time in the treatment room.

Left-back has been a particular issue for the Dutchman, with Shaw, Reguilon and Malacia all being out at the same time. This has forced Ten Hag to use midfield signing Sofyan Amrabat there at times, while Victor Lindelof has operated there in Man Utd’s last two matches.

But Man Utd are also weaker than usual at centre-back as Martinez has had to undergo surgery on a recurring foot problem, which will rule him out until the new year.

Ten Hag has resultantly been forced into using Harry Maguire and Jonny Evans to help out Varane in recent weeks. However, Ten Hag is known to be not the biggest fan of Maguire, while Evans is now 35 years old and in the latter part of his career.

Due to these factors, it would make sense if Man Utd swooped in for an elite centre-back this winter. And Palace’s Guehi has recently emerged as a prime target amid his classy performances in the top flight.

READ MORE – Casemiro: Hugely-damaging Man Utd ‘regret’ claims emerge as major U-turn sees Ten Hag target £61m replacement

On Saturday, Football Insider gave the Red Devils a boost by revealing that a £60million bid for Guehi ‘would be accepted’ by Palace.

In an interview with CaughtOffside, Romano has discussed Man Utd’s potential move for the Englishman. He has confirmed that central defence is one area Man Utd are determined to strengthen, though club chiefs already have four players on their list. And one of them could arrive at Old Trafford instead of Guehi.

Fabrizio Romano reacts to Marc Guehi, Man Utd rumours

“Marc Guehi is continuing to do really well for Crystal Palace and for England as well, so we’re inevitably seeing some fresh rumours about his future, with Manchester United linked with him by some media outlets,” Romano said.

“As I’ve previously reported here, we know Man Utd want a top centre-back for 2024, so we’re going to see a lot of names linked. Personally, I have had no updates since sharing my information that the names they’re watching are Goncalo Inacio, Antonio Silva, Jean-Clair Todibo, and Edmond Tapsoba.

“Guehi is another fine option, but I personally rate all those players – they all have their different qualities and could be good signings. Still, for now there are no concrete talks, it’s just about scouting. Someone like Guehi has the advantage of being proven in the Premier League, of course, but they’re all top players.”

As Romano points out, Guehi already has Premier League experience, which could make him a more favourable option compared with the likes of Inacio, Silva and Todibo.

Although, Man Utd have already done their groundwork on a prospective deal for either Inacio or Silva, which means it would not be a surprise if Man Utd moved for one of the Portuguese duo first.

Any such transfer would likely spell the end for Maguire, who has looked destined for the exit door ever since Ten Hag stripped him of the captaincy. TEAMtalk understands West Ham remain on course to sign him in January, having missed out on the transfer over the summer.

Meanwhile, Man Utd will now face competition from Arsenal for the capture of a La Liga star, according to reports.