Erik ten Hag ‘knows the next stage of his rebuild’ must come in one position, and a report has revealed the six-man shortlist Manchester United will choose from.
The Red Devils invested heavily in a new goalkeeper, central midfielder and striker over the summer. If the £21.6m option to buy in Sofyan Amrabat’s loan agreement is taken up, he too will be added to Mason Mount in midfield.
According to Fabrizio Romano, the next position Man Utd will address in 2024 is centre-half. Whether United do it in January or wait until the summer could hinge on how quickly Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s purchase of a 25 percent stake in the club is ratified.
“As I’ve previously reported, we know Man Utd want a top centre-back for 2024, so we’re going to see a lot of names linked,” said Romano on Monday morning.
“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.”
Inacio plies his trade at club level for Sporting Lisbon and also counts Liverpool among his admirers.
Today’s Euro Paper Talk shed light on the 22-year-old’s future, including Liverpool ramping up their pursuit of the man who could be the long-term successor to Virgil van Dijk.
But according to the Daily Express, two man centre-backs are on Man Utd’s shortlist on top of the four named by Romano.
Everton, Crystal Palace stars monitored by Man Utd too
The Express confirmed Inacio, Silva (Benfica), Todibo (Nice) and Tapsoba (Bayer Leverkusen) are in United’s sights. Everton’s Jarrad Branwthwaite and Marc Guehi of Crystal Palace can also be added to that list.
Of the six, it’s Guehi who is likely to cost the highest fee. The Eagles and England ace, 23, is expected to fetch Palace around £60m if changing clubs next year.
Chelsea would also be in line for a slice of the profits via a sell-on clause. Depending on which outlet you believe the clause is set at either 20 or 25 percent.
The Express add Man Utd moving for a centre-half in January could also hinge on player sales. Convincing Harry Maguire to accept a new challenge elsewhere could prove key.
Man Utd accepted a £30m bid from West Ham for Maguire in the off-season. However, the move broke down once Maguire refused to negotiate personal terms with the Hammers.
Nonetheless, the report stressed ‘Ten Hag knows the next stage of his rebuild’ must come at the heart of defence.