Thursday, July 25, 2024

Meet the defensive superstars that could be heading to Manchester United this summer

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With it eventually confirmed last month that Erik ten Hag will be staying put in the Old Trafford dugout, it is no secret that Manchester United face a crucial summer behind the scenes. 

Although there might be plenty of speculation that the likes of Marcus Rashford could be forced out of the exit this summer, it has been their hunt for a new central defender which has stolen plenty of the headlines.

Watching ex-Real Madrid star Raphael Varane officially leave the club following the expiry of his contract, ten Hag has made it clear that a new defensive option is at the very top of his summer wishlist.

With continued speculation over who will partner Lisandro Martinez at the heart of United’s defence next season, we have taken a look at the leading targets.

Matthijs de Ligt – Bayern Munich

With ten Hag making it clear that a new central defender is at the very top of his summer wishlist, it appears that the Red Devils are inching closer towards getting their standout target through the doors at Old Trafford.

Already in contact with Bayern Munich and making their intentions clear, it looks like ten Hag is set for a reunion with former Ajax protege Matthijs de Ligt.

Reports over the past week have suggested that the Old Trafford hierarchy have offered a five-year deal and are growing in confidence that a deal can be struck between all parties over the coming days.

While de Ligt might have his full focus on a famous EURO 24 semi-final showdown against England on Wednesday night, it has been suggested that the Dutch defender has already given the green light to a Premier League switch.

With Bayern looking to trim their wage bill after signing Crystal Palace ace Michael Olise last week, the German icons have already accepted that they will take a dent on the £63.6million they paid Juventus two years ago.

Marc Guehi – Crystal Palace

While Marc Guehi might have missed England’s quarter-final victory against Switzerland last week, the Crystal Palace has certainly been one of the Three Lions’ standout performers at this summer’s European Championships.

Although there might have been plenty of question marks over who would replaced the injured Harry Maguire over in Germany this summer, the 23-year-old has done a stellar job of filling in at the heart of Gareth Southgate’s defence.

While Crystal Palace might have made it abundantly clear that they want Guehi to stay put at Selhurst Park ahead of the 2024/25 campaign, it appears that the Eagles have accepted that their defensive talisman will be on the move this summer.

With the one-time Chelsea starlet reportedly showing no interest in signing a new deal with Palace, Guehi has two years remaining on his current contract and is certainly attracting plenty of heavyweight interest.

Alongside speculation that German giants Bayern Munich are monitoring Guehi’s situation closely, The Sun also reported that Manchester United are a huge admirer and have already reached out to his representatives.

Jarrad Branthwaite – Everton

Hit with two operate points deductions last season as they found themselves at the heart of another battle to keep hold of the Premier League status, it is no secret that Everton are dealing with a string of public issues behind the scenes at Goodison Park.

With it suggested that further penalties could be waiting down the line, Sean Dyche’s side have already accepted that they will have to part ways with some of their biggest names this summer.

Although Jarrad Branthwaite might have eventually missed out on a spot in England’s squad for this summer’s European Championships, the 22-year-old enjoyed what was a real breakout campaign last season.

Scooping up all of Everton’s individual accolades last season and billed as a real England regular down the line, Manchester United are desperate to complete a deal for the former PSV loanee.

News broke on Monday that ten Hag’s men have tabled a new offer of £45million plus £5m in add-ons and are looking to get a deal completed immediately.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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