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Manchester United have identified two ‘perfect’ defenders for Erik ten Hag to sign in advance of next season, according to reports in Portugal. The Red Devils spent around £178million on new players over the summer but Jonny Evans was the only centre-back to join the club when he returned on a free transfer.
United have looked unconvincing at the back in recent months, with Ten Hag’s side averaging 1.5 goals conceded per game in the Premier League this season. Injuries to Lisandro Martinez and Luke Shaw have not helped their cause and it would make a lot of sense to add some defensive reinforcements in the not-too-distant future.
It seems as though United’s transfer department have already identified two potential targets, with Portuguese duo Antonio Silva and Goncalo Inacio believed to be on their radar. Both players are on the Red Devils’ list of players to pursue, according to Record, with Ten Hag eager to improve his options at centre-back next summer.
Silva has consistently turned heads with his strong performances in defence for Benfica, while Inacio has done a similarly impressive job at Sporting over the last few years. It is said that United are ‘convinced’ the duo would be the ‘perfect’ candidates to form their centre-back pairing next season, at which point the likes of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof may no longer be at the club.
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The report adds that Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Dalot could speak to Silva and Inacio about moving to United next year while on international duty with Portugal. All four players have conveniently been named in Roberto Martinez’s squad to face Slovakia and Bosnia and Herzegovina over the next few days.
United are said to be considering an overhaul in central defence next summer, with their current crop having struggled to impress over the course of the season to date. The Red Devils have looked very disjointed at times and were subjected to fierce criticism by Rio Ferdinand after their recent defeat to Galatasaray in the Champions League.
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“There’s an absolute lack of organisation at times, you have experienced players through the middle of this team and there’s no organisation defensively,” said Ferdinand while discussing United’s shortcomings at the back on TNT Sports.
“We score goals and at that moment, you’re told as a kid as well, that’s when you’re at your most vulnerable. That’s where you’ve got to be your most concentrated and we go to sleep. We’re being cut open like a hot knife through butter at times and it’s embarrassing.”
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