Top five centre-backs Manchester United could sign in summer 2024
The Red Devils are looking for a new central defender
Manchester United initially had vast plans for the summer of 2023. Possibly deporting former captain and centre-back Harry Maguire and freeing him from his duties while also reinforcing the position. But with the transfer window shut and behind us, all they could bring in was a defender who had left Old Trafford to join West Bromwich Albion back in 2015. Jonny Evans left as a 27-year-old as he was not used much under former United manager Louis van Gaal. Now we see him back in the red part of Manchester as a 35-year-old and in a much later part of his career.
United are definitely struggling both in the attack as well as the defence this season. After their matchday 7 fixture against Roy Hodgson’s Crytal Palace, they have managed to just score 7 goals and have allowed 11 goals to creep in hindsight. That’s the second-highest number of goals conceded among the top 10 Premier League standings this season at the point of writing and only behind Brighton & Hove Albion. Brighton have let in 14 goals till this stage.
The Red Devils currently have five centre-backs in their ranks. And out of those three have crossed 30 and are not getting any younger. Even Victor Lindelöf will be 30 next summer. With only Lisandro Martínez in mid 20’s, United will need fresh defenders to be integrated into the squad soon. Let’s have a look at options that could become a reality next summer:
The Burkina Faso international is also one of the primary target as per reports for the Red Devils. Tottenham are also keen admirers of the centre-back who recently penned a contract extension till the summer of 2028. Edmond Tapsoba is currently the mainstay defender for the Bundesliga outfit Bayer 04 Leverkusen managed by Xabi Alonso. Leverkusen identified what Tapsoda had to offer while he was with Liga Portugal side Vitória Guimarães SC. The 24-year-old has started every game of the season so far and could serve as a replacement for Maguire.
The teenage sensation of Portugal could also be an interesting option to weigh for coach Erik ten Hag. Last season alone António Silva was played in 46 club games in all competitions for Portuguese giants SL Benfica. The 19-year-old was honed in Benfica’s youth academy itself before reaching the first team status last July. If United manages to bring in Silva in the summer of 2024, he will have the likes of Raphaël Varane to look up to and grow further.
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Fikayo Tomori could prove to be an English solution to the problems in the defence of Man United. Tomori is an England international and was in the ranks of London club Chelsea FC before moving to Italian powerhouse AC Milan. After an initial six-month loan move was made permanent in 2021 summer, Tomori went on to fire the Rossoneris to the final podium finish in Serie A.
The player has a contract unit 2027 with the Red and Blacks but still could be tempted to return to his homeland. The 25-year-old defender could prove to be a fix for the stuttering Red Devils backline.
Matthijs de Ligt
The names of Erik ten Hag and Matthijs de Ligt came to the limelight after their amazing run together at AFC Ajax. With coach ten Hag and defender-captain de Ligt, Ajax blew the opposition away to reach the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League back in the 2018-19 season. In the summer of 2019 that saw Harry Maguire arrive, de Ligt moved to Juventus.
Although the Red Devils were interested nothing came to fruition. With de Ligt now going down the pecking order under Thomas Tuchel at Bayern Munich, United could rebuild the interest and make it happen next summer. Although they will have to fight off FC Barcelona who are very keen.
The former FC Barcelona man could be seen in different colours next summer with Manchester United and other clubs reportedly keeping tabs on the centre-back. Back in 2019, Jean-Clair Todibo got the best start to his early career. Barcelona signed the then 19-year-old Todibo from Toulouse FC and even handed him the number 6 jersey that was previously seen on legendary Dani Alves. Though things didn’t go as desired and the Frenchman has now been making headlines in Ligue 1 with OGC Nice since 2021.