We have had a pretty good time in the transfer market this year; acquiring the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba. It’s an easy argument to say we have come out on top of all clubs in Europe in the transfer market.
Reports are now suggesting that Jose Mourinho isn’t quite done in the market just yet. According to The Manchester Evening News, Manchester United are still looking to acquire a world class center back to finalize Jose Mourinho’s rebuild of the squad. Of course, like the rest of the signings this summer, we are only linked with the biggest and brightest.
It isn’t a surprise to see Raphael Varane being linked with us. Jose Mourinho rates him highly, and even preferred him to Pepe towards the end of his tenure at Real Madrid. The French defender has seen more and more game time at Real Madrid, so it may be difficult to bring him to Old Trafford. He may be looking to reunite with his former boss, as he knows that he will be seeing significantly more playing time under him.
The other prospect that has been mentioned in the report is Leonardo Bonucci. It seems like any club with a sizable budget has inquired about his availability. The 29 year old is the epitome of a modern defender. He seem to know where to be no matter the situation, and his distribution from the back line is world class. We would have to pay a huge fee to pry him from Juventus, and to make matters worse, he doesn’t appear to be keen on moving from Turin.
One defender that hasn’t been mentioned is Athletic Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte. The youngest of the three at 22, he still has some work to do to become a great, but he has the potential to be the best center back in the game. Hence the massive release clause in his contract set at €50 million – Which scared Pep off from signing him, yet still forked over a record fee for a worse center back in John Stones. Although a large fee, it’s an unfortunate side effect of the market and availability of quality defenders right now. There is no doubting his potential though.
It’s almost a certainty that Jose Mourinho will be looking to bring a new center back in to partner with his new signing, Eric Bailly, once the time is right. For me, it’s almost a perfect match with Laporte, seeing as they are both 22 and both have huge potential. This partnership could easily become our greatest of all time.
Who ever Jose chooses, I am sure he is looking to bring in the best option as he has with the rest of his signings this season. The pertinent question is, Do we have the funds to make one of these signings happen? Considering we just broke with World Record Transfer Fee once we brought Pogba back, I would prefer to see a few dead weights sold before we pursue a massive signing at the back.
We need a massive signing at the back to restore us to our former glory, but at the same time we need to be smart about it and not rush into something of this caliber. Look at the Pogba saga and how long it took us to finalize it. I wouldn’t be surprised to see something similar in a quest for a new center back.