Recent reports from reliable Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio state that Manchester United are keen on signing Inter Milan defender Alessandro Bastoni in the upcoming transfer window as Erik Ten Hag looks set to add to his options at the back ahead of the 2022/23 season.
The report further states that the Red Devils have enquired about the player in the last few hours. However, the centre-back is also wanted by Tottenham boss Antonio Conte, who has established contacts with both Inter and the player. The Lilywhites have not made a formal offer yet, but Nerazzurri value the 23-year-old at around £50 million.
“I have a two-year contract with Inter, so I’m very calm,” said Bastoni after the Azzurri’s 2-1 win against Hungary on Tuesday.
“The club hasn’t communicated anything to me, so I’m very calm. I think about Italy then I go on vacation and then I resume at the Appiano [Inter’s training ground].”
For three reasons, Tottenham Hotspur have the edge over Manchester United in the race for the Italian defender’s signature. Number one, Conte’s side will play in the UEFA Champions League next season. Secondly, having won the 2019/20 Serie A title together at Inter, the pair shares an excellent relationship. Last but not least, the signings of Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski from Juventus turned out to be a huge hit, so it sets a pretty impressive track record.
Having come through the ranks at fellow Serie A club Atalanta, Alessandro Bastoni signed for Inter Milan in the summer of 2017 for a fee in the region of £30 million. Over the course of the past six seasons, he has made 118 appearances for Nerazzurri, scoring three goals and bagging eight assists across all competitions.
Even the past season, the 14-times Italy international managed to put some awe-inspiring numbers on the board – averaging 1.4 tackles, 1.1 interceptions, 1.8 clearances, and four long balls per ninety minutes in the Italian top-flight. Although his team came second in the race for the Serie A title, it would be fair to say that the 23-year-old had a brilliant individual season (with an average WhoScored rating of 6.90).
Decent Option For Erik Ten Hag?
Given the present circumstances, signing a quality centre-back should be the Ten Hag’s first priority once the summer transfer window opens. It’s beyond any doubt that the Red Devils certainly need to upgrade on their options in defence and solve their issues at the back – and Alessandro Bastoni fits the bill.
His move to the Old Trafford will mean that he instantly competes with Harry Maguire or Raphael Varane for a position in the starting eleven. At 23, Bastoni will only get better with each season, so it won’t be a complete surprise if United break the bank to secure his signature.
(Stats from WhoScored)