Manchester United’s board are prepared to pay £23million to sign Monaco youngster Benoit Badiashile, reports say. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to sign a new defender as he targets the Premier League title. And while Dayot Upamecano has been linked, the Red Devils could swoop for an alternative instead.
Manchester United currently have a plethora of centre-backs on the books at Old Trafford.
Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof are Solskjaer’s first-choice pairing, with Axel Tuanzebe, Eric Bailly and Teden Mengi all in reserve.
United also have Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo at their disposal but want to offload the trio in this transfer window.
In recent times, Solskjaer’s side have been linked with a move for Upamecano – who impressed as RB Leipzig reached the semi-finals of the Champions League last term.
But French newspaper L’Equipe say United are keen on Monaco star Badiashile and are willing to pay £23m to secure his signature.
It’s claimed that the Red Devils and Bayer Leverkusen are both keen on signing the 19-year-old, who has been tipped to emulate Raphael Varane over the coming years.
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But Monaco would rather receive a fee of £28m and believe the coming weeks will be vital in terms of keeping Badiashile in Monte Carlo.
United and the Ligue 1 giants have done business twice in recent years, with Radamel Falcao moving to Old Trafford on loan back in the summer transfer window of 2014.
And, the following year, the Red Devils swooped to sign Anthony Martial in a £38m deal.
Speaking recently, former Tottenham striker Darren Bent admitted that he felt United needed another defender to go alongside Maguire.
“A lot of people have said he’s not lived up to the expectation of £80m,” Bent told talkSPORT, referring to the Red Devils skipper.
“What it is is he went for £80m and Van Dijk went for £75m.
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“And when you look at what you got Van Dijk for, £75m, you’re talking about arguably the best centre-half in the world.
“He’s completely transformed Liverpool to what they are now. Maguire might not ever get to that level that Van Dijk’s at.
“I think he’s been okay this season, I wouldn’t say he’s set the world alight.
“There’s been times this season where he has made mistakes or he hasn’t defended well.
“I don’t think he defended particularly well [against Sevilla] but I do still think that he’s got a lot to offer.
“I do still think he’s a very good centre-half and I do think if you put someone alongside him who can equally defend and they’re on the same wavelength, then I think Manchester United will be better.”
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As well as Badiashile, United remain keen on a deal for Jadon Sancho.
But, with Borussia Dortmund demanding a massive £108m to let their star asset go, the Red Devils are eyeing alternatives.
Kingsley Coman has been linked but, having scored the winner for Bayern Munich in the Champions League final, will be difficult to prise away from the German giants.
Douglas Costa is another potential alternative, though the Brazil international seems to be on the wane after finding the net just three times for Juventus last term.
And some at United rate Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele but signing the France international would be a huge gamble, especially given his torrid injury record.
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