When this summer’s transfer window began, it seemed as if Jose Mourinho was going to prioritise right and left back as positions that needed strengthening as he begins to shape his Manchester United side for next season. The Portuguese has stuck to that, to a certain extent; the transfer of FC Porto’s Diogo Dalot has certainly added fresh depth on the right side of defence, especially with talks ongoing regarding a transfer for Matteo Darmian. Things have been a little less clear-cut at left back, however, with recent reports stating that the former Chelsea boss is now putting a centre back and even another striker higher in the pecking order than bringing in competition for Ashley Young.
That could change quite quickly, however. The Sun, via information from Calcio Insider are suggesting that United could launch a bid for FC Ausburg’s Philipp Max. The German, who joined the Bundesliga club from Karlsruher SC in 2015 for €3.6m, could cost the club as much as £35m, and a quick look at his stats suggest why that may be. Max recorded 12 assists in the German top flight last season along with two goals, and is clearly capable of providing the sort of delivery that Mourinho must be craving for Romelu Lukaku up front. Young enjoyed a consistent season at left back for the club, but his mixed crossing ability combined with his age (33) mean he cannot be considered a long-term option in the role.
Not only that, but the report states that United is coincidentally Max’s favourite team, according to the Daily Star’s report on the subject.
With rumours suggesting that United have gone cold on their pursuit of Juventus’ Alex Sandro, and question marks still surrounding Luke Shaw’s future at Old Trafford, a swoop for Max would certainly make sense. It’s not always easy to replicate form from one league to another, but if Max could provide consistently high-quality delivery from the left flank, then it could make United a far more dangerous proposition next season.