Manchester United are in talks with both Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld and Shakhtar Donetsk’s Fred as Jose Mourinho looks to bolster his squad before next season.
United are hoping to conclude the Fred deal quickly as they want to bring the player in before the World Cup which starts on 14th June. While he is currently in Brazil, he will be back in Europe next week with Brazil set play against Croatia at Anfield, offering a perfect opportunity for United to conclude the transfer.
Fred has been linked with a move to the Premier League for a while now with Manchester City heavily linked to him in January. However that deal never went ahead, with Pep Guardiola seemingly turning his attentions to Napoli midfielder Jorginho, allowing Man Utd to leapfrogged their rivals in the race to sign the Shakhtar midfielder.
It’s unclear what role the Brazilian would have at Old Trafford but they perhaps see him as an upgrade to Ander Herrera or Mourinho might just want some more depth in his squad, especially with Michael Carrick having retired and Marouane Fellaini stalling on a new deal.
United are also keen on landing Spurs defender Toby Alderweireld, but the might have to pay big money for the Belgian’s signature, with plenty of clubs interested in signing the centre back who has so far refused to sign a contract extension at Tottenham. The London club are reportedly wanting in excess of £50 million, with some reports suggesting they could demand £75 million for the Belgian – the same fee Liverpool paid for Virgil van Dijk.
Alderweireld’s contract runs out in 2020 but if Spurs keep hold of him for next season then they would have to let him go for £25 million next summer because of a release clause in his contract.
This pursuit makes sense for United as even though they had the second best defensive record in the league this season there has still been big question marks surrounding their centre backs. Phil Jones was on the receiving end of plenty of criticism for his performance in their FA Cup final loss against Chelsea, where he brought down Eden Hazard in the box, with the resulting penalty ultimately being the only goal of the game.
Manchester United would be smart to try and get both deals finalised before the World Cup as both players have been included in their country’s squads and great performances in the competition could raise their price tag further.