Man Utd and Man City are converging over ‘one of the best’ Serie A has to offer, and his arrival would spell the end for a senior star at Old Trafford or a £57m Spaniard at the Etihad, per reports.
It’s been a strange old season over in Milan for Inter this year. They were touted as title favourites in pre-season, though all bets were off once Napoli stormed out of the gate.
However, Simone Inzaghi’s side are remarkably struggling to even qualify for next season’s Champions League. Ahead of Saturday’s fixtures they currently lay fifth in the table.
Their European form is in stark contrast to what’s transpiring on the domestic scene. Indeed, Inter hold a two-goal lead in their UCL quarter-final tie with Benfica after the first leg. With the second leg on home soil, only a disaster of epic proportions will see them fail to make the semi-finals.
Inter have kept three clean sheets in a row in the knockout rounds thus far. Playing a key role in each of those three shutouts is centre-half, Alessandro Bastoni.
The left-footer, 23, is widely viewed as one of the best defenders in Serie A right now. However, with a contract expiring in 2024 and no signs of an extension, his talents may soon be taken to a different league.
Tottenham have repeatedly drawn links with their interest dating back to last summer. Unfortunately for Spurs, a price tag of around £50m put their noses out of joint and the cheaper option of Clement Lenglet on loan was sanctioned.
However, fast forward to present day and the two Manchester clubs are battling to succeed where Spurs failed.
Man Utd, Man City want Bastoni ‘this summer’
That’s according to a report out of Spain (via the BBC). It’s claimed both Man Utd and Man City want to sign Bastoni ‘this summer’.
Aiding their cause is the fact Inter must raise around £50m to balance the books. If they fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League, their financial issues will deepen further.
Man Utd are reportedly sizing up a centre-back who can compete with Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane for a starting berth. If signed, the report echoes the claims club captain Harry Maguire will be axed.
The Manchester Evening News, talkSPORT and Mail Plus have all reported Maguire is up for sale this summer. The latter outlet reported United are resigned to only recouping half of the £80m they paid Leicester if he leaves outright.
Alternatively, a move to Man City would have a similar consequence, this time involving Aymeric Laporte.
The Spaniard was a £57m signing from Athletic Bilbao back in 2018 and has lifted four Premier League titles at the Etihad.
However, he’s been displaced by Nathan Ake in Pep Guardiola’s strongest eleven this season and GiveMeSport stress it’s ‘likely’ he’s axed this summer.
The Spanish report adds weight to that claim, with 23-year-old left-footer Bastoni a younger and direct replacement if signed.
Guardiola has settled on a 3-2-4-1 formation this term. If Laporte leaves, he’ll be left without anyone capable of battling with Ake for the left-sided role in the back three.
Chelsea’s Levi Colwill (currently on loan at Brighton) is another viable option in City’s sights. However, Bastoni would represent a far more established and readymade option.
Of the Manchester clubs, Bastoni would arguably be a better fit for City. His time at Inter has generally been spent playing in a three-man backline which City have also adopted.
What’s more, Bastoni has an eye for an assist (six so far this season) and he’ll be given greater freedom to roam forward in a City back three than a United back four.