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Manchester United have reportedly added five defenders to their shortlist of potential signings beyond Bayern Munich star Benjamin Pavard, as Old Trafford could be the stage for further upheaval this summer. Erik ten Hag will not have been pleased with his side’s performance despite beginning the new Premier League season with a 1-0 victory over Wolves on Monday, as more spending is set to continue.
Pavard was seen as a versatile replacement for Harry Maguire who could cover several roles across the backline, as the former captain was closing in on a £30million move to West Ham. However, amid a lack of activity, the Hammers have reportedly begun sounding out alternatives and the England international is unlikely to get his transfer to the London Stadium.
Maguire still has over two weeks to find a new club and it remains to be seen whether the 30-year-old remaining at Old Trafford will have an impact on Pavard’s potential move. However, according to 90min, United have drawn up a new shortlist consisting of five alternative defenders as Bayern are demanding £34m plus add-ons for the Frenchman – a higher fee than previously thought – and could move for one of them regardless of how Maguire’s future is resolved. With Maguire’s move collapsing, United won’t have the money to splash out on Pavard and are therefore eyeing other players.
The report states that United have identified Jean-Clair Todibo, Perr Schuurs, Jarrad Branthwaite, Edmond Tapsoba and Antonio Silva as options – though none offer the same versatility as Pavard and are thought of mainly as centre-backs.
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It is not the first time that some of those names have been mentioned with moves to United, as Nice defender Todibo had been mentioned alongside Axel Disasi as options for the Red Devils in January and this summer – though the latter has since moved to Chelsea and netted on his debut against Liverpool.
Branthwaite had been on loan at PSV from Everton last season and impressed in the Eredivisie, while the left-sided centre-back also benefits from being a homegrown player – and is the only player on the list to come through academy football in England.
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Schuurs and Tapsoba have both been linked with Tottenham as Ange Postecoglu also looks to upgrade his defensive options, having recently received a £100m fee from Bayern for Harry Kane.
However, United would be able to offer Champions League football this season and may be a more tempting option for either player.
While Benfica star Silva impressed during the Portuguese side’s European campaign last year and does have an £88m release clause – likely to be out of United’s price range – it remains to be seen whether or not Benfica are willing to negotiate below that number as financial fair play concerns and the ongoing takeover process still remain factors in United’s window.
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