Solskjaer whittles Man Utd centre-back shortlist down to just four names

Date published: Thursday 8th April 2021 1:26 - Robert McCarthy

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer TEAMtalk

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reportedly whittled down his shortlist of centre-back targets to just four names.

The Red Devils chief has made the addition of a top class defender his top priority this summer, with a long-term partner for Harry Maguire still needed. Solskjaer is still said to be unconvinced by the quality of Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly.

Lindelof has perfomed better this season as Maguire’s regular sidekick. Bailly, meanwhile, has suffered from his fair share of injury issues and has struggled to get a look in at times.

According to Eurosport, Solskjaer has four names he is looking at, all of which have been linked to United before.

Ibrahima Konate, Raphael Varane, Jules Kounde and Pau Torres are the names mentioned, along with the possibility of two others who arenlt named.

RB Leipzig ace Konate has emerged as an option after Liverpool ended their interest in the Frenchman.

Varane has long been linked with a switch to Old Trafford and Real Madrid’s financial issues make him a feasible target.

Kounde continues to be linked with a number of Europe’s top clubs after impressing for Sevilla since signing in 2019.

Torres has emerged as one of LaLiga’s top centre-backs at Villarreal. Indeed, a recent report suggested that United had already made contact over a €65m move.

All four names mentioned would be considered as major upgrades on Lindelof and Bailly, as United look to bolster their squad for a title challenge next season.


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United set Lingard asking price

West Ham will need to dig deep to sign loan star Jesse Lingard on permanent terms, with reports that Manchester United will ask for at least £30m for his signature.

Lingard, 28, has been a revelation since making a January switch to the London Stadium. After failing to make a Premier League appearance for the Red Devils this term, he has shone for the Hammers. The Warrington-born forward has already bagged six goals and assisted three more from eight top-flight appearances. His form has helped David Moyes’s side continue their push for Champions League football.

Jesse Lingard, West Ham

And, with eight games to go, the East End outfit sit fourth – one point ahead of London rivals Chelsea. It looks set to be a thrilling end to the campaign, with Lingard at the forefront of West Ham’s challenge.

His future is very much up in the air as United have yet to show their hand. Reports earlier this month claimed Lingard was keen to return to Old Trafford but only with a guarantee of first-team football.

That is unlikely to be given by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and an exit may well be on the cards. Lingard’s value is said to have increased due to his upturn in form.

And a figure of £30m has been quoted, according to The Mirror. The report goes on to say that the north-west giants will stick to their guns and not accept anything less.

West Ham are ‘ready to do whatever it takes’ to sign Lingard, according to Sky Sports. But there may well be a bidding war this summer for a player entering his peak years.

 

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