Manchester United have been boosted by the news that Real Madrid have made contact with Valencia star Shkodran Mustafi, reports the Daily Star.
The Germany international could be a replacement for Sergio Ramos, who is the subject of a £42.5 million bid from the Red Devils, according to Spanish publication AS. The 23-year-old Mustafi was a key figure in a defence which conceded only 32 goals in La Liga last season, playing 34 times for Los Che.
“True, there have been telephone contact regarding my son,” his father, Kutjim, revealed.
“Madrid is a great club with great success. Of course, it would be a lie to say that I’m not proud if my son sign for this club.”
This may well come as good news for United, who had looked like possibly missing out on Ramos despite being heavily linked to the 29-year-old.
Spanish football expert Gerry Armstrong told Sky Sports that the 29-year-old had reopened talks with Los Blancos president Florentino Perez, despite there earlier having been major disagreements between the pair, as noted by MARCA.
United are in need of a centre-back as they look to compete in the Champions League as well as improve on their fourth-place finish in the Premier League.
Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, and Jonny Evans all looked error-prone at times in the last campaign, and improvement will be needed if they are not going to disappoint next time around.
This situation is complicated by Real’s simultaneous interest in Old Trafford star David De Gea, as reported by Sky Sports.
Although the two deals don’t appear to be connected, the fact that Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal is refusing to sanction the goalkeeper’s departure, according to the Daily Mail, may create tension between themselves and Real and compromise any potential deal for Ramos.
Mustafi, who was on Everton’s books for three years as a youngster, won the World Cup with Germany in 2014.