Defender Valued At £75m
Manchester United will make moves to sign Leonardo Bonucci of AC Milan or Toby Alderweireld of Tottenham Hotspur if they fail to sign Harry Maguire from Leicester City. That’s the latest speculation as United continue to search for a new central defender.
United were linked on Sunday with a £65million bid for Maguire although Leicester will dig in their heels over any move. But the Foxes are already looking for a replacement for Maguire who was outstanding for England at the World Cup this summer.
According to the Daily Mail, United are eyeing up Bonucci and Alderweireld – two players who have been linked with the Red Devils over much of the summer.
Bonucci and Alderweireld are both valued at around £75million by their respective clubs. It would be a surprise if the Italy international is signed by United boss Jose Mourinho. He is now 31 years old and United are unlikely to match Milan’s asking price for a player over 30.
Normally, United shy away from players beyond that age. The only two players they have signed over 30 in recent years have been Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Bastian Schweinsteiger. Ibrahimovic came on a free transfer and signed only one-year deals. Schweinsteiger, on the other hand, is regarded as a flop having cost £75million and spent much of his time at Old Trafford on the injured list. His days were numbered once Mourinho arrived.
Alderweireld is 29, but United are refusing to go as high as £75million for the Belgium international. His present contract runs to the end of next season,.but Spurs have the option to extend that deal by an additional year. The only catch is that a release clause of €30million (£26million) kicks in with the clause.
Tottenham are unlikely to trigger the clause before the transfer window closes on 9 August.
However, Jose Mourinho may have to sell one of his current central defenders before he can buy. That puts one of his side’s five centre-backs at risk: Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling. The latter appears to be the most at risk.