Manchester United appear to have called off their pursuit of Juventus’ Brazilian left back Alex Sandro. The reigning Serie A champions have reportedly slapped a £50m price tag on the player, which has led United to look elsewhere and abandon the plan to bring in a player that Jose Mourinho had prioritised as a key target this summer.
Left back has been a troubling position for United fans and their managers for some time, and reports earlier this summer had suggested that Mourinho was happy to go into next season with Ashley Young and Luke Shaw as his options. Given the former’s age, and the latter’s issues with fitness and application, that left many of the club’s fans concerned that a problem position was not going to receive the attention that it clearly needed.
The Mirror are reporting that United are, in fact, pursuing other targets, namely Valencia’s Jose Luis Gaya. The Spaniard, who made 28 appearances for Los Che last season, would be available for a slightly more reasonable fee of £30m, and at 23, is four years younger than Sandro.
It’s unlikely that United fans would turn their noses up at Gaya as a left back reinforcement. Young had a solid season in the position, but surely cannot be counted upon to do the same again this season, and Shaw’s future at United looks incredibly bleak at this stage.
Regardless, United could use an attacking presence on the flanks that can cross, and link up with Alexis Sanchez on the left flank. Mourinho’s side struggled to offer consistent delivery to Romelu Lukaku last season, leaving the Belgium striker looking isolated on occasion. A quality addition who could ably support Sanchez, who appears to be Mourinho’s first choice on the left, should be a huge priority for Mourinho. Perhaps Gaya will be that man.