Manchester United signing a new centre-back this summer wouldn’t result in the end of Victor Lindelof’s time at the club, because Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs at least four central defenders at his disposal. That’s the verdict of club hero Gary Neville, who believes United require significant investment in the defence.
United are unlikely to sign a new centre-back this summer after deciding to focus on other areas of the team.
Club chiefs decided earlier in the window that they would target a right-winger and left-back this summer, but are yet to sign a player for either position.
The Red Devils are failing to agree terms with Borussia Dortmund for Jadon Sancho, and are set to wait until January to sign Porto’s Alex Telles.
With time running out to secure a deal for Sancho, the club is expected to make one final last-ditch attempt to agree a fee with Dortmund, though it is likely they’ll have to meet the £108million asking price in order to get a deal done.
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Pundits and fans alike have criticised United’s defence since the end of last season, with many urging the club to make a move for a new partner for Harry Maguire.
A move for Dayot Upamecano of RB Leipzig was rumoured, though that speculation ended when the club decided against bringing a centre-back.
But Neville believes Solskjaer needs to go out and strengthen the middle of his defence, urging his old team-mate to sign reinforcements for the position.
Victor Lindelof and Maguire are the two main centre-backs at the club, with Phil Jones and Chris Smalling both set for moves away this summer.
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When asked about whether a new centre-back would mean the end of Lindelof’s Old Trafford career, Neville compared the situation at the club to his old playing days and explained why depth was needed.
He said to Cadbury: “I don’t think the ship has sailed on Lindelof.
“We had David May, Henning Berg, Ronnie Johnson and Jaap Stam. Four brilliant centre-backs.
“This idea that you’d be dismissing Victor Lindelof even if you signed Virgil van Dijk – we’re not, obviously – but let’s say we were signing Virgil van Dijk and he was partnering Harry Maguire. You’d still need Victor Lindelof, you still need Eric Bailly, you need four centre-backs.
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“This idea that we sign a centre-forward and it’s the end of Martial, it’s not the end of Martial. It just means Martial has got competition, he’s got support.
“I don’t see this ‘either or’ situation that exists when they want to sign a new player.
“[New signings] should try and improve the starting XI, you’re right. Players that are signed shouldn’t be squad players, they should go straight into the first-team.
“They don’t need any more squad players, they’ve got those.”
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