English Premier League (EPL) club Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho is looking to sign a central defender this summer after watching his team in training and three pre-season friendly matches. Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci, Zenit Saint Petersburg’s Ezequiel Garay and Southampton’s Jose Fonte could be one of the names heading to Old Trafford in the current transfer window.
“[Mourinho] is looking to add a seasoned central defender capable of leading a reshaped defense and is also understood to be considering a new right-back.” Duncan Castles of the Sunday Times said.
Mourinho’s concern with United’s defense seems to have increased after watching his main defenders falter during training and pre-season friendly matches. The club hierarchy are willing to depart as much as $52.9 million to sign a world-class experienced center-back.
Chris Smalling and Daley Blind were Manchester United’s first-team center-back partnership under former manager Louis Van Gaal. However, neither possess the physical presence that Jose Mourinho is known to deploy in his teams. The likes of Bonucci, Garay and Fonte could offer the Portuguese that option at Old Trafford.
Bonucci is the best of the three names linked to United. However, the Juventus center-back will be the toughest and the least likely to make a move this summer. Garay and Fonte may not be the blockbuster name the fans might want to see wearing their team’s jersey, but either of the two will add a solid leadership to United’s defense, which they currently lack.
Between Garay and Fonte, the latter will appeal to Mourinho more given his Premier League experience. The 32-year-old will be available for cheap and the Portuguese has been around in the top flight of English football for some time now. He is a leader at Southampton, which he could add to Mourinho’s defense at United.
If Mourinho could tempt either of Garay or Fonte to join United this summer, the Old Trafford outfit could be deemed as serious title challengers given the fact that Paul Pogba, one of the world’s best central midfielders is also on his way to the red side of Manchester.
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