Man Utd will look to swell their defensive ranks with the addition of highly-rated Hellas Verona centre-back Marash Kumbulla, according to an Italian report.
The Italian-born Albania international has made the breakthrough into the Serie A side’s starting eleven this year, making 10 league appearances as Verona have confounded expectations upon their return to Italy’s top tier.
Despite advancing up through the Serie B playoffs, the newly-promoted club boast a tighter defence (20 goals conceded) than those of Italian heavyweights AC Milan (24) and Napoli (22), and just three goals worse off than eight times consecutive Serie A winners Juventus (17).
19-year-old Kumbulla has been instrumental in their staunch rearguard thus far this campaign, with a string of impressive performances attracting the attention of Juventus and Inter Milan.
Now, Man Utd have entered the fray according to Italian publication L’Arena (via SempreInter.com), with the publication stating the player initially caught the eye of a Red Devils scout in pre-season.
The report reveals: “The Premier League club first saw Kumbulla in action during pre-season… but he was not the player that the scout had went to watch initially but that did not stop him from catching the scout’s eyes.”
At the tender age of 19, Kumbulla would fit seamlessly into the transfer strategy employed by Utd chief Ed Woodward as a player with a bright future that can be developed under the guiding hand of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The report continues that “Hellas Verona currently value Kumbulla at €15 million,” but that figure is strongly predicted to keep rising through to the summer if he maintains his impressive levels of performance.
L’Equipe (via Sport Witness) reports that Ligue 1 side Lille are prepared to let Boubakary Soumare leave in January after the emergence of Premier League flop Renato Sanches in their starting eleven.
The six-foot-two 20-year-old is rated in the €50-60million bracket.