Manchester United have joined the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal to rope in Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund. The centre-back had an excellent outing with the German outfit in the last season.
Jose Mourinho is not completely convinced with his defensive options despite having inked a deal for Victor Lindelof of Benfica. United have agreed on a deal with Benfica to secure his service and a medical to be done within this week to confirm the move.
Mourinho is willing to listen to offers for Chris Smalling who didn’t have a very fruitful season. Apart from him both Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones are very injury prone and the Portuguese gaffer wants a solid player who can lend an assurance to the United backline.
Papastathopoulos who has a contract till 2019, indicated that he is up for a new challenge and if a suitable offer comes he would certainly consider it seriously. “If you’re young, you have a lot of time to win things. “But I’m not young anymore, time is getting shorter and I really want to win a title.”
The Greek defender is currently 29 and is at the peak of his career. Naturally, a central defender starts to pick his form after 28 and Mourinho wants to have the player at the Old Trafford in his prime.
Antonio Conte is also very keen to deploy a new centre back in the Chelsea backline. Chelsea have been linked with a number of players but so far have failed to reach a concrete decision.
United desperately want to achieve things in the next season. The club has been going through a transition phase but they will expect results now. The appointment of Mourinho was a drastic step for United and despite a topsy-turvy season, they managed to win the EFL Cup along with the Europa League which made sure the Red Devils return to the much coveted Champions League.
Dortmund value the player at around £23.8m and United shouldn’t mind splashing that amount for the player having spent £30.75m on Victor Lindelof. United have had the knack to overpay for players for the last few seasons.
United had a very decent transfer history with Dortmund as a number of players have switched their allegiance with the likes of Shinji Kagawa and Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Sokratis could become the latest player to join the club.
However, Dortmund might feel the need to freshen up their defence and so they might sell the player. It remains to be seen whether Mourinho would make an official offer or not.