Manchester United have turned their attentions to another defensive target after failing to complete a deal for Tottenham Hotspur’s Toby Alderweireld. The Belgian defender was the target of serious interest from the club, but Daniel Levy is reported to have upped the asking price to an unreasonable £75m prior to concluding negotiations, which United deemed to be too much. This thinking would certainly mirror the club’s approach of not spending over-the-odds on players in their late 20s, which is what seemed to put the skids on a deal for Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic last summer. Both would have limited resale value, and it’s clear that United are thinking smarter about their transfer strategy.
The suggestion from the German press, specifically Bild, appeared to be that Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng would be Jose Mourinho’s next centre back target after losing out on Alderweireld. Duncan Castles, writing for Yahoo, suggests that United are also tracking AC Milan’s Leonardo Bonucci. The Rossoneri spent heavily last summer, including the purchase of Bonucci from Juventus, but finished 6th in Serie A, and are close to expulsion from European competition for breaching Financial Fair Play rules. That could lead the club to cash-in on their prized assets, and Bonucci would certainly fall into that category. The Italian international’s original move was worth €42m, so it’s not unreasonable to assume that United could do a deal for around €30, and take advantage of Milan’s desperate need for cash.
Interestingly, Castles’ article also mentions that United are also keeping tabs on Inter Milan’s Slovakian international Milan Skriniar and Caglar Soyuncu, who currently plies his trade in the Bundesliga for SC Freiburg. The former has currently suggested that he’s happy to remain in the Italian city, however, whilst the latter is also a target for Arsenal. Still, the summer is young, and United have some time left to bring in another centre back.