Man Utd stalwart Antonio Valencia has firmly established himself in the right-back role in recent years, but the Red Devils will surely need to address the position sooner rather than later with a long-term plan in mind.
Valencia turns 33 in August, and having just played 39 games in all competitions this past season, he needs capable competition at the very least to ensure that United have sufficient cover to compete on various fronts moving forward.
Jose Mourinho saw his side claim the second best defensive record in the Premier League this year, conceding just 28 goals in 38 games. In turn, that would suggest that the Portuguese tactician doesn’t need to change a great deal in his backline.
However, in terms of long-term planning, he’ll arguably need to consider bringing in another right-back in the near future with Matteo Darmian failing to get regular minutes at Old Trafford.
According to Calciomercato, Man Utd have set their sights on Valencia’s Joao Cancelo, although it’s added that the Portuguese ace could command a fee in excess of €35m and that Juventus will provide stiff competition for his signature.
The 23-year-old joined Inter on loan this past season and impressed as he made 29 appearances, scoring once and providing four assists, as he played a key role in helping Luciano Spalletti’s side qualify for the Champions League.
Combining defensive solidity with an attacking threat and an impressive work-rate, he’d arguably fit in perfectly at Man Utd under Mourinho, but it remains to be seen if his compatriot makes a move to prise him away from Valencia this summer.
With Michael Carrick retiring and no official word on the future of Marouane Fellaini who will see his contract expire this summer, the midfield may perhaps be seen as more of a priority by Man Utd.