Manchester United’s search for another centre back to add to the five senior options that they currently possess has been an open secret so far this summer. The pursuit of Tottenham Hotspur’s Toby Alderweireld appears to have concluded given the London club’s £70m+ valuation, and whilst Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng is reportedly available for a fee believed to be around £50m this summer, tempting the German international to Manchester could prove tricky; Boateng’s long-term partner was not so enamoured with the north west of England during his time with City, so convincing the player to return might be problematic.
Another option in the centre of defence appears to have ruled himself out of a move to Old Trafford to, if this report from Talksport is to be believed. Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar has reportedly had his path to United blocked by his club, with the Nerrazurri insisting that the Slovakian defender isn’t for sale. Despite being able to make a tidy profit on a player that they purchased from Sampdoria for €20 last summer, the Italian side are reportedly refusing to do business. The player himself, speaking to the official website for the Slovakian football federation had this to say:
“Manchester United? I heard from them and it made me proud. But I’m even happier that Inter decided to reject it and that they believe so much in me.”
It’s tough to judge how much of a blow to United this could be. On the one hand, if true, it’s never nice to hear of any likelihood of a deal for a potential target being blocked, but given Skriniar’s age, the 23-year old would likely join a group of players in a similar situation. Several young centre backs are already on United’s books, and require game time, so perhaps targeting a more experienced option like Boateng and Alderweireld would be wiser.