Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Six centre-backs Manchester United could target to replace Harry Maguire: Todibo, Pavard, Silva…

Benfica's Antonio Silva, Nice's Jean Clair-Todibo and Bayern Munich's Benjamin Pavard. TEAMtalk montage.

Manchester United are in the market for a new centre-back this summer after deciding to sell Harry Maguire to West Ham. 

Maguire had hoped to remain at Old Trafford, but he was deemed surplus to requirements by Erik ten Hag and will now be sold for £30million.

While Jonny Evans is back at United on a short-term contract, they are looking to sign another defender to compete with Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof.

We’ve taken a look at six centre-backs that United could try and sign once Maguire leaves Old Trafford.

Jean-Clair Todibo

After unsuccessful spells at Barcelona, Schalke and Benfica, Todibo has now found his feet in his native France with Nice.

The centre-back has produced a lot of calm and composed performances in Ligue 1 and is renowned for his ability to bring the ball out of defence.

“Jean-Clair is a very interesting character; he’s very confident and he’s a great guy around the dressing room and he’s a very, very talented player, who can go all the way to the top,” former Nice midfielder Aaron Ramsey said.

“For him, it is important to keep his feet on the ground, strive for more, and take in as much information as possible.”

The 23-year-old, who earned his first France call-up in March, has been compared to Raphael Varane and could be the long-term successor to the 30-year-old at both club and international level.

According to reports in France, United have already held constructive talks with Todibo’s representatives and he is valued between €40-45million.

Benjamin Pavard

The most accomplished player on this list, Pavard has won four Bundesliga titles, the Champions League, the DFB-Pokal, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup at Bayern Munich.

He is also a 49-cap France international and was a key part of the 2018 World Cup-winning side, where he also won the Goal of the Tournament award.

The 27-year-old has been tracked by a number of Premier League clubs, including United, Liverpool and Manchester City.

According to reports in Germany, United manager Erik Ten Hag is pushing for Pavard due to his ability to play at centre-back and right-back.

Fabrizio Romano has also reported that the defender is keen on a move to Old Trafford and wants to test himself in the Premier League.

He has entered the final 12 months of his contract at the Allianz Arena and would reportedly be available for around £25million.

Edmond Tapsoba

Since joining Bayer Leverkusen from Vitoria Guimaraes in January 2020, Tapsoba has established himself as one of the best defenders in the Bundesliga.

The 24-year-old is extremely comfortable with the ball at his feet and has been compared with former Manchester City and Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng.

Standing at 6ft 4in, he is also an imposing physical presence at the back and seems tailor-made for the Premier League.

The Burkina Faso international has been heavily linked with Arsenal and Tottenham in recent months but the Manchester Evening News claim that he is also admired by United.

“Given his quality, I would be surprised if there was no interest,” Bayer Leverkusen managing director Simon Rolfes said. “There are always limits somewhere. But Eddy is a very important player, without a doubt one of the top players in our team.”

The Bundesliga side are expected to demand around £43million for their defender, who has three years left on his contract.

Marc Guehi

A Chelsea academy graduate, Guehi made just two first-team appearances for the club before joining Crystal Palace in an £18million deal in 2021.

He has since gone from strength to strength at Selhurst Park and Chelsea are probably regretting their decision to let him go.

The 23-year-old has also worn the captain’s armband on multiple occasions and is clearly regarded as one of the leaders at the club.

His impressive performances haven’t gone unnoticed, and he has deservedly been handed England opportunities by Gareth Southgate.

According to the Daily Mail, Erik Ten Hag is also a big admirer of the centre-back and United have been monitoring his situation.

The Eagles don’t want to lose another top player after Wilfred Zaha left for Galatasaray and have reportedly put a £50million price tag on Guehi.

Crystal Palace centre-back Marc Guehi

Antonio Silva

Benfica are renowned for producing world-class footballers in their academy and Silva is the latest talent from their conveyor belt.

The 19-year-old centre-back enjoyed a brilliant breakthrough season in 2022/23, making 44 appearances in all competitions and helping Benfica win the Primeira Liga.

He also made history at the 2022 World Cup when he became the youngest-ever player to represent Portugal in the tournament.

“If he keeps doing what he’s been doing, he has everything to be one of the best defenders in the world in a year or two,” former Benfica centre-back Jan Vertonghen told Record.

Alongside United, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Tottenham, Napoli and Borussia Dortmund have all sent scouts to watch him in action.

The teenager, who has been compared to Manchester City’s Ruben Dias, won’t come cheaply and has a €100million release clause in his contract.

While that’s a lot of money for a player with one season of senior football under his belt, he already displays a remarkable level of maturity on the pitch and has all the tools to lead United’s backline for the next decade.

Ousmane Diomande

Diomande was a relatively unknown FC Midtjylland defender last summer but has since enjoyed a meteoric rise.

He spent the first half of the 2022/23 season on loan in the Portuguese second tier with CD Mafra and then joined Sporting Lisbon in a €7.5million deal in January.

The 19-year-old has taken to top-flight football with ease, establishing himself as one of the most promising centre-backs in Europe.

He impressed against Arsenal and Juventus in the Europa League and has been able to showcase his incredible speed, strength and passing ability.

Several clubs are keeping tabs on his development, and he is reportedly seduced by the idea of moving to the Premier League.

United maintain a good relationship with Sporting, having bought Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani, Marcos Rojo and Bruno Fernandes from them in the past.

But they could be priced out of a move for Diomande as he still has four years left on his contract and Sporting won’t do business for less than his release clause of £69million.

READ MORE: The 10 biggest Manchester United transfers of all time: Rasmus Hojlund takes sixth spot after £64m move