According to reports from Manchester Evening News, Manchester United are already considering defensive additions for the summer with Everton’s John Stones, Athletic Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte and Real Madrid star Raphael Varane at the top of their hitlist.
Central defence has proved a real problem area for the Red Devils since parting with Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand upon Louis van Gaal’s appointment in summer 2014. Whilst Chris Smalling has matured into one of the first names on the United team-sheet, neither Phil Jones nor Marcos Rojo have provided a consistent partnership amid struggled for fitness and form.
The versatile Daley Blind has adequately filled the void this season but according to MEN, United are keen to sign an out-and-out centre-back who also represents a sound long-term investment. Three names are already in discussion; Everton’s John Stones, Athletic Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte and Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane.
Allegedly incoming manager Jose Mourinho has history with two of them. He saw a series of bids rejected by the Toffees for the England international last summer, the most lucrative believed to be worth around £38million, and brought Varane to the Bernabeu in 2011. Laporte, meanwhile, is widely revered as one of Europe’s most exciting young defenders and has already registered over 100 appearances in La Liga.
The priority choice appears to be Varane, aged 22. But United may struggle to convince the France international to leave Real Madrid with the legendary Zinedine Zidane at the helm.