Manchester United have made steps toward deciding which big-name centre-back they will be pursuing this summer.
There has been plenty of speculation over which defender the Red Devils will look to target during this summer’s transfer window.
Two of the biggest names linked with a move to Old Trafford have included Ajax’s Jurrien Timber and Villarreal’s Pau Torres, who was originally shortlisted by former boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, as reported by transfer news specialist and CaughtOffside columnist Fabrizio Romano.
Manchester United discussed Jurrien Timber again internally in the last 48h. Timber’s name [alongside Pau Torres] was also mentioned in the first meeting between Man Utd and ten Hag, days ago. ??? #MUFC
More to follow – as Man United will decide next steps on centre backs soon.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 25, 2022
However, the latest in the ongoing saga comes from the Manchester Evening News, who claims the 20-times league winners, including new manager Erik Ten Hag, have held initial talks over a possible move for Torres.
Torres, 25, has been developed at Villarreal and was promoted to the club’s senior first team in 2018 before going on a season-long loan to Malaga in 2019. The Spaniard has made 47 appearances, in all competitions, for the ‘Yellow Submarine’ this season where he even managed to score five goals.
Why do Man United want a new centre-back?
It is no secret – United’s backline is well below par.
Poor individual performances all season long have seen the Red Devils fall even further behind rivals Liverpool and Manchester City.
Although the club decided to sign Harry Maguire from Leicester City back in 2019 in a deal worth a whopping £78m, the England international’s time at Old Trafford has seen him fail to live up to his sky-high price tag.
Elsewhere, the likes of Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly have always failed to stamp their authority on the side – whether the manager is Solskjaer or former interim boss Ralf Rangnick.
Axel Tuanzebe is another senior defender who is linked with a summer move away with the latest club to sound out his services being Graham Potter’s Brighton and Hove Albion (Football Insider).
Therefore, with the majority of their senior centre-backs either surplus to requirements, or continuing to put in poor performances, it goes without saying that at the top of Ten Hag’s summer agenda will be a new centre-back, ideally one that is capable of improving whoever ends up staying.