After their astronomical transfers last summer, the one position that Manchester United are in dire need of improving this time, is their backline. With Eric Bailly leaving the squad for his international duties with Ivory Coast in the African Cup of Nations, Jose Mourinho will definitely have to make a move for a defender, who could bring some composure to their ragged defence.
And as per reports, Manchester United have made a £32.5m ($40m) bid for AS Roma defender Kostas Manolas to plug the gap. He is not the only one though as Lindelof has also been closely monitored and the Red Devils are known to have launched a bid for him.
The Red Devils are currently 10 points adrift of league leaders Chelsea and Jose Mourinho is looking to go all out in a bid to challenge for the title. Reportedly, Mourinho is an admirer of the Greek defender and is more than likely to pursue him till the end. United have now won six games in a row and are quite aware of the fact that unless they continue it, they are unlikely to be close the gap with league leaders Chelsea.
Mourinho had shown interest in the defender last summer but when nothing materialised, he had to move for Bailly. With Bailly not there now, he is bound to try again. And with Roma reluctant on parting ways with their star defender, Mourinho might be forced to dig deeper into their pockets and complete a deal. And Paul Pogba’s deal just gave us the perfect idea to what extent United can go.
Roma are unwilling to sell the player midway through the campaign but United’s Europa League action getting under way next month, they really don’t have much of an option. Manolas is more of an intelligent defender, who reads the game pretty well and could provide incisive passes from the deep, which is unlike any defender United have at the moment. A very composed player on the ball, Manolas is aerially superb along with being tactically and technically sound.
His passing accuracy this season has been 89% which is excellent for a central defender while he has won 2.5 aerial duels every game this season, which proves his domineering ability in the air. The Greek enforcer has averaged 12 defensive actions every game this season. Having a presence like him alongside Bailly, Jones or Smalling would be a huge bonus and could make United an even more compact team.