Man Utd are scouting an ‘outstanding’ and ‘generational’ star ahead of a potential summer move that would likely spell the end for a senior star Erik ten Hag doesn’t favour, per reports.
The Red Devils’ primary focus in the summer window looks certain to revolve around a high profile striker signing. Victor Osimhen and Harry Kane are two lethal options the Telegraph – among other outlets – confirmed feature on their shortlist.
However, according to Football Insider, an ‘overhaul of their defence’ is also planned.
Manchester United were heavily linked with signing a new right wing-back in January. Indeed, Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s place looked under threat until Diogo Dalot’s injury issues provided him with a golden opportunity to prove his worth post-World Cup.
Wan-Bissaka hasn’t disappointed and Ten Hag opted to show faith in the former Crystal Palace star when push came to shove in the winter window.
Right-back may be a position United re-assess come the summer, though per FI, centre-back will come under the microscope too.
They report Man Utd have begun scouting Lyon centre-half, Castello Lukeba.
Lyon ace put to Ten Hag; £30m valuation is rising
The 20-year-old is already featuring at Under-21 level for France and has been a mainstay in Lyon’s back line this season. Lukeba has completed the full 90 minutes in 19 of Lyon’s 23 Ligue 1 matches this term.
He’s reportedly regarded as ‘one of the outstanding centre-backs in his age group in Europe’. Furthermore, it’s claimed a member of United’s recruitment team has personally put Lukeba’s name to Ten Hag after declaring him to be a ‘generational player’.
Given the high praise, it’s claimed Lukeba’s valuation has already soared beyond the £30m mark. If he continues to shine for Lyon between now and the summer, don’t be surprised to see that number continue to swell.
A Lukeba arrival at Old Trafford would also come with the welcome advantage of him being left-footed.
Lisandro Martinez is the only specialised left-footed centre-half at Ten Hag’s disposal at present. Luke Shaw has filled in when required, though that takes away from United’s threat going forward at left-back.
Lukeba is under contract at Lyon until 2025, meaning they’re in a reasonably strong position if United do act on their interest. Clearly, he’s not a player who’ll be signed on the cheap.
Lukeba to force senior Man Utd star out?
In the event Lukeba does arrive, it’s looking increasingly likely he’ll take the place of Harry Maguire.
The United captain is one of three high profile stars United have put up for sale, per the Manchester Evening News.
Maguire remains a key performer for Gareth Southgate at international level. It’s been a different story for United, however, with his rare league start against Leeds on Sunday just his fifth of the campaign.
The Mail Plus recently reported United are ‘resigned’ to selling Maguire for half the £80m they paid Leicester back in 2019. Among the early contenders for his signature are West Ham, per talkSPORT and ESPN.
With Maguire now 29 and clearly out of favour, a £40m sum would still represent a sizeable return for Man Utd.
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