Man Utd close to transfer for central defender but it won’t make Ed Woodward popular

Manchester United are set to sign 16-year-old defender Willy Kambwala. The centre-back currently plays for Ligue 2 side Sochaux and is expected to complete a move to Old Trafford for €4million (£3.6m) including bonuses.

The news is likely to appease United fans who are desperate to see the signing of Jadon Sancho cross the line. United made the Borussia Dortmund their No.1 target this summer but time is fast running out.

Dortmund initially put up August 10 as a deadline for any deal for the England forward to be done but United seemingly ignored this. Sporting director Michael Zorc has insisted that no transfer will happen now and the club have so far stuck to their guns.

“Everything there is to tell on this matter from our end has already been said,” he said on Friday.

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“And that won’t change over the next three days.”

United have been scrambling for a replacement and have been linked with Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele and free agent Edinson Cavani.

The biggest stumbling block for the Dembele move appears to be United wanting him on loan only, whereas Barcelona would ideally like an option to buy attached to the offer.

Cavani is a free agent after leaving Paris Saint-Germain but is reportedly demanding huge wages. At 33, the Uruguayan would also go against United’s transfer policy. Especially after the club signed a 31-year-old striker in Odion Ighalo on deadline day of the last transfer window.

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Left-back is also a position Solskjaer has determined necessary to strengthen. Luke Shaw’s injury record and Brandon William’s ability to play right-back has seen Diogo Dalot shipped out on loan to AC Milan and left-back emerge as an area which needs extra depth.

Porto’s Alex Telles has been heavily linked with a switch but United are finding it difficult to match his valuation of £18m.

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So it is ironic that despite all this United are choosing to strengthen neither of those areas. Kambwala is also unlikely to come into the first team anytime soon given his age and experience. But RMC Sport say the 6ft 4in defender will become a United player by deadline day.

The French-born star, who could go on to represent DR Congo at international level, is hardly a signing to excite the fans. But given United’s tendency to leak goals it is sensible of the club to strengthen at the back.

Problem is, even if that is Ed Woodward’s viewpoint, supporters may not see it that way.

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