Three centre-halves Man United could sign instead of Otamendi and Ramos
As Man United look set to lose out on deals for Nicolas Otamendi and Sergio Ramos, we look at three other options
1) John Stones
The young centre-back is reportedly the subject of a £40m bid by Chelsea, after a previous offer of £30m was knocked back by Everton. The England international, just 21, seems set to be the mainstay at a Champions League club for many years to come. And although Chelsea have made the first move, it is questionable whether Manchester United may move for a defender – who has no Champions League experience. The touted price tag is mind-boggling, however, for the length of service which he could provide, not to mention his assured defending, it may well be worth it. The Red Devils would have to be move fast though – Jose Mourinho seems hell bent on getting his man.
2) Raphael Varane
The 22-year-old French international would provide an alternative to the more native Stones, and probably a cheaper option. The Real Madrid centre-back, who regularly kept experience Portugese counterpart Pepe out of the starting XI last season, would be a huge coup for Louis van Gaal’s men. But he would still be lacking in experience at just 22, and although he has played in the Champions League, Van Gaal would still be purchasing in a risky fashion rather than an established winner.
3) Diego Godin
The lynchpin of Atletico Madrid’s success over the past couple of years, Diego Godin has become one of the most highly sought-after defenders in Europe. At 29, the defender is still at his peak, and will have enough experience to provide a massive boost for any of Europe’s top clubs. Manchester City were his most recently linked club – before they targeted Otamendi – however United may well value an established defender to help blood some of their younger English ones. And that’s the pattern that has emerged after being interested in City-bound Otamendi alongside Sergio Ramos – van Gaal seems keen on experience. Due to his age, he would cost slightly less than the aforementioned two – although it’s hard to see anyone capturing his services for under £15m.