Manchester United are ready to spend serious money in 2024 on a top-quality centre-half signing, with Fabrizio Romano naming £50m-rated Tottenham target Edmond Tapsoba as one of three players on their shortlist.
The Red Devils appear to be over their slow start to the season, having recorded back-to-back wins which they hope will become three in a row on Saturday afternoon at home to Crystal Palace. Having spent around £175m over the summer on several new additions, hopes are burning bright that United can make further improvements to last season’s third-placed finish.
Life in the Champions League has already started with a bruising 4-3 defeat at Bayern Munich. However, they will hope to get back on track when Galatasaray are the visitors to Old Trafford on Tuesday night. Before that, however, United will hope to see off the Eagles at Old Trafford for the second time in a matter of days, having beaten Roy Hodgson’s side 3-0 in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.
As part of Erik ten Hag’s strategy for improving United, the Dutchman has drawn up a three-summer plan by which to strengten various positions within the side.
His first summer saw the club invest some £216m on new talents as part of that first phase. And while phase two this summer appeared to deviate that plan thanks to the failure to shift Harry Maguire, together with the late need instead to sign a new left-back, Ten Hag does still intend to spend big on a new defender in 2024.
Indeed, United were in the market to do exactly that this summer. They held transfer talks with Axel Disasi prior to his move to Chelsea from Monaco, while Jean-Clair Todibo was also on their radar.
Fabrizio Romano says Man Utd want Todibo and Edmond Tapsoba
According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, United are still in the hunt for Nice defender Todibo amid claims they could launch a fresh move to try and sign him in 2024.
And while it is not clear whether he is a January target or one for the summer, much may depend on United’s ability to offload unwanted defender Maguire first.
The England defender has slipped to fourth choice centre-half at Old Trafford and, with his deal due to expire in 2025, a departure is likely come the new year. To that end, Tottenham are reportedly considering a fresh move for a player that Ten Hag is desperate to move on.
With Maguire out the picture, United will have the funds to push through a defensive signing of their own. And Romano claims that another Tottenham target in Tapsoba is also on their list of targets.
He was the subject of a Spurs enquiry over the summer only for the defender to sign a new deal with Bayer Leverkusen instead. Rated in the £50m bracket, however, United are now ready to join the hunt for the Burkina Faso international.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Romano said: “The crucial factor for Manchester United in 2024 is going to be the centre-back. From what I am hearing, Manchester United, in internal discussions, are thinking of the future transfer windows – mainly the summer – are discussing the possibility of bringing in one more important centre-back.
“Over the summer they thought of two players in particular: Benjamin Pavard was one of the targets but he joined Inter. And Jean-Clair Todibo, the Nice centre-back who is having a very good season.”
Man Utd also want Benfica teenager Antonio Silva
Romano continued: “So, they two centre-backs on their list of targets, but then the Harry Maguire transfer [to West Ham] collapses and then this is why nothing happened in that position.
“But the idea remains for Man Utd to sign a new centre-back in 2024. Let’s see if it’s going to be January; let’s see if it’s going to be the summer, which looks more likely, but we never know. We keep an eye on the market!
“And so, Pavard no longer remains an option after he joined Inter. But Jean-Clair Todibo is still appreciated by Manchester United; they will keep scouting and tracking him.
“Also Tapsoba from Bayer Leverkusen. He was on the list of Tottenham, but now also of Manchester United and he is a player appreciated by them. It is not an easy deal because he extended his contract at Leverkusen a couple of weeks ago.
“Another player that Man Utd keep following and keep scouting, from what I hearing, is Antonio Silva from Benfica. For sure, United will add more players to that list and they do have time to decide. But everything depends on Maguire, who still wants to fight for his future at Manchester United.
“But for sure, this is one situation and possible transfer to keep an eye on.”