Centre-backs are likely to be hot property in the upcoming summer transfer window, with Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea all being linked with a host of names to solve what is clearly an area of weakness in all their squads.
Manchester City currently look set to run away with the Premier League title and may be among the major favourites to win the Champions League this season after investing smartly in signing Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake in the summer, while John Stones’ return to form has also been key to their success.
By contrast, Liverpool have fallen out of the title running due to injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez at the back, with all three of these top defensive players missing much of the campaign with fitness issues.
Man Utd also looked for a while like they could be genuine title challengers, but it seems clear that Victor Lindelof is not really a good enough first-choice partner for Harry Maguire.
Chelsea brought in veteran centre-back Thiago Silva last summer, but their failure to bring in more long-term options in that position as upgrades on Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen has surely cost them a proper stab at the title.
Dayot Upamecano was recently announced as a new signing for Bayern Munich next season, and so it will now surely be down to these ten top central defenders to strengthen the Premier League giants…
Along with Upamecano, Ibrahima Konate has impressed a great deal at RB Leipzig and now looks set to attract plenty of suitors this summer.
The Athletic have named him as one of Man Utd’s summer targets in defence, and Sport Bild have also mentioned Liverpool and Chelsea as admirers of his, saying he has a tempting release clause of just €45million.
Whoever wins the race for Konate’s signature would undoubtedly be landing a top young player who could improve their defensive performances for many years to come.
Also linked in that Athletic article mentioned above, it’s claimed that United have scouted Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde recently.
The 22-year-old is clearly a huge talent after impressing in La Liga, and it would be great to see him play his football in the Premier League at some point soon.
However, there’s some concern from MUFC that Kounde’s asking price might be too high for them right now, according to the Daily Mail.
Niklas Sule is apparently one of the targets on Chelsea’s list as well, with his place in the Bayern Munich first-team perhaps no longer certain…
— Christian Falk (@cfbayern) February 3, 2021
Sule has been a solid performer in the Bundesliga and will be a player new Blues boss Thomas Tuchel knows well.
Speaking about Sule to Spox, Bayern chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge wouldn’t rule out a sale, saying: “We will hold talks and see where they lead. We will look at it seriously and calmly until the summer. Corona [coronavirus] has also caused financial damage to FC Bayern. If we find a solution, we are generally happy to extend the contract, but that will only be possible under certain conditions.”
A fine young defender who caught the eye on loan at Leeds United last season, Ben White is now showing what he can do in the Premier League as well.
The Brighton star looks likely to have a big career ahead of him, and he’s already being talked up as a target for the three clubs we’re focusing on in this piece.
White has been linked with Liverpool by the Liverpool Echo, with Man United by the Manchester Evening News, though Goal have suggested Chelsea may now have cooled their interest since Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard as manager.
Another fine young defender, Pau Torres has shown his qualities for Villarreal and he’s being talked up for a big move.
Torres is certainly up there with the likes of Konate, Kounde and White as good enough options to improve this Red Devils side.