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United working on defender deal from London rivals

If there’s one area of the pitch where Manchester United are far from lacking in resources, it’s in the centre of defence. Jose Mourinho inherited a side that featured Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Chris Smalling, and whilst the young Dutch international spent this last season on loan at Crystal Palace, the Portuguese has only added to his options with the purchases of Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly.

That only tells half of the story, however. The transfers, from Benfica and Villareal respectively, have been a mixed bag, with error strewn performances for the former and injuries for the latter meaning that Smalling and Jones, who have had their own issues of consistency and fitness, ended up starting last season’s FA Cup final. It seems remarkable that United have so many options for centre back partnerships but are no closer to figuring out who should be the first-choice partnership in the heart of United’s defence.

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Adding another centre back on top of this messy situation seems less than wise on the face of it, with Lindelof needing time and Bailly’s ability obvious, but nonetheless, the BBC are reporting that United are prepared to take advantage of Toby Alderweireld’s stand-off with Tottenham Hotspur to seal the Belgian defender’s signature. Having barely featured for Mauricio Pochettino’s side since January, Spurs appear to be willing to listen to offers for a player that could potentially leave for free in a year’s time when his current deal expires.

Regardless of this interest, Spurs’ chief executive Daniel Levy has been a famously difficult customer to negotiate with over the years, so a deal is unlikely to be sealed before this summer’s World Cup, if at all. The North London side might be hesitant to do business with a Premier League rival, so United could be required to pay a heavy price for his services.

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By Kevin T

Kevin Thatcher is a freelance journalist who's work has featured in various national and international publications, including Mail Online & The Mirror. Kevin has been a Manchester United season ticket holder in South Stand for many years, and writes for RedMancunian to combine both his love for writing, and club.

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