Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd mocked for chasing centre-back tipped to flop like Harry Maguire – ‘hopefully he’s option five’

Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag

News of Manchester United sizing up the captain of a Premier League rival to become the long-term partner of Lisandro Martinez has drawn a stinging response from pundit Troy Deeney.

Man Utd are expected to take a sledgehammer to Erik ten Hag’s squad this summer, with incomings and outgoings anticipated in multiple areas.

Raphael Varane, Jonny Evans and Anthony Martial are all out of contract at season’s end. Elsewhere, the Red Devils will listen to offers for Donny van de Beek, Casemiro, Jadon Sancho, Mason Greenwood and Antony.

Regarding arrivals, Fabrizio Romano has confirmed a new left-back will be signed. A long-term partner for Lisandro Martinez is wanted at the heart of defence, while a new striker to share the workload with Rasmus Hojlund is on the agenda.

Elsewhere, additions could be made in central midfield if Casemiro leaves and on the flanks if one or multiple of Sancho, Greenwood and Antony depart.

Today’s update regards the centre-half position, with the Times recently reporting Wolves captain Max Kilman is on Man Utd’s radar.

The 26-year-old is a key performer at Molineux and indicating how highly he’s regarded there, the Times confirmed Wolves previously rejected a £30m bid for his services from Napoli.

talkSPORT subsequently backed up claims Man Utd are sizing Kilman up, though news of their interest was met with scorn from pundit Troy Deeney.

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“I just think there’s a level that people possibly can’t get to”

While working for talkSPORT, Deeney began rubbing his head upon hearing Man Utd are interested in signing Kilman.

In Deeney’s eyes, Kilman is a fine player in his own right, though would be a poor signing for Man Utd for three reasons.

Firstly, Deeney doesn’t believe Kilman is the calibre of player Man Utd require to get back to where they feel they belong.

Secondly, Deeney hinted at Kilman’s relative lack of pace when noting Erik ten Hag wants his backline to defend high up the pitch. Finally, Kilman’s quality on the ball was also called into question.

“I do like Max Kilman,” Deeney said while smiling. “I just think there’s a level that people possibly can’t get to. I could be wrong!”

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The ex-Watford striker continued: “Look at what happened with Harry Maguire, really good at Leicester, great player and all of that.

“Man Utd, where they’re trying to get to is having a high line and getting after people and you’re going to have to be really comfortable on the ball.

“Playing for Wolves and playing for Man Utd are two different things, so if you’re saying there’s a shortlist, hopefully he’s like number five and there’s four readymade that they go for [first].

“But if he gets [a transfer to Man Utd], fair play to the boy! Same as Harry. He’s got his move and he’s done really well.”

Among the numerous other centre-halves Man Utd have been linked with include Jarrad Branthwaite )Everton), Leny Yoro (Lille), Jean-Clair Todibo (Nice), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich), Antonio Silva (Benfica) and Goncalo Inacio (Sporting CP), to name just six.

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