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Jose Mourinho is well aware that he needs a proven world class centre back to help him win back the league title. As such, even after buying the promising Eric Bailly and having publicly stated that he sees Chris Smalling and Phil Jones as his first choice centre back pairing, he is is targeting a veteran centre-back to help him win the battle. Smalling has had one good season at the back, while Jones is injury prone and unreliable while Bailly is an inexperienced player in the Premier league and has to be integrated into the hustle and bustle of the league. As such, we take a look at three seasoned centre backs who could be on Ed Woodward’s shopping list this summer:

1. Leonardo Bonucci

Josep Guardiola is so desperate to land the Italy centre-half from Juventus that apparently Manchester City are believed to have ring-fenced a €100million package to secure the services of the man, who again impressed at Euro 2016. Around £50m in a transfer fee and the same again in wages over five years. Talent like his doesn’t come cheap.

But Bonucci is also said to be interesting Mourinho. And it’s easy to see why. Nicknamed Bonnibauer from the fans of Turin’s Old Lady, Bonucci glides around the pitch with an elegance of a Milan catwalk. And at 29, he could be just the man Mourinho needs to guide, cajole and marshal his young backline.

2. Pepe

The Portugese may have received a lot of sticks for his aggressive character over the years, but you simply cannot argue with a trophy cabinet like his: Champions League, Euro Cup, La Liga and King’s Cup, he has won it all. He played under Mourinho at the Bernabeu during the manager’s three-year spell and although signed a new deal last year, that contract is up in 2017 and he wouldn’t cost United the kind of astronomical amounts in transfer fees Bonucci would command. It is likely that Zinedine Zidane would now like to give more chances to Raphael Varane now, so United may look to sign the 33 year old if the situation so aligns itself.

3. Jerome Boateng

Given how the Portugese is a man with expensive tastes, it wouldn’t be surprising if he tries to raid Bayern Munich for Jerome Boateng. At 27, the man has it all, trophies that include the World Cup, experience, that has seen him play, and win at both England and Germany, and class, which has seen him being ranked as one of the best defenders in world football right now. Boateng signed a new deal last year that is due to keep him at the Bavarian giants until 2021. He would cost United millions but don’t rule out Mourinho mulling over a move for Guardiola’s former player.

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Man United keen to reinforce midfield with this 24-year-old La Liga ace

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Manchester United are keen on signing Marcos Llorente

Manchester United are keen on reinforcing their midfield by signing Spanish midfielder Marcos Llorente. (h/t Manchester Evening News)

The 24-year-old who plays for Atletico Madrid has impressed at the Wanda Metropolitano following his move from city rivals Real Madrid.

Llorente has made 17 appearances for Atletico this season , with a majority of them coming off the bench.(h/t Whoscored)

Marcos Llorente

Having started just 3 La Liga matches this season, a loan move to United could be of interest to both parties.

The Red Devils are currently short of players in midfield after the injuries to Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay.

Llorente is an assured passer of the ball and can play in central midfield in both a defensive and a holding role.

He is also an aggressive ball winner and will add much-needed energy in the United midfield. At 6 feet tall, Llorente is also an imposing presence who can deal with the physical aspect of the Premier League.

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The Spaniard came through the Real Madrid academy and has made 22 appearances for the Los Blancos.

He was a part of the Real Madrid squad that won the UEFA Champions League in 2018.

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Man United veteran agrees to move to Serie A side for £1.3million in January

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United skipper Ashley Young agrees to move to Inter Milan

Inter Milan have agreed on the transfer of Manchester United captain Ashley Young for £1.3million in the January transfer window. (h/t Guardian)

The 34-year-old will undergo a medical on Friday prior to signing an 18-month deal with the Italian giants.

Young will join up with former United teammates Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez as Antonio Conte’s side aim to win their first Serie A in 10 years.

Ashley Young
Ashley Young

Antonio Conte has been a long term admirer of Young and even tried to sign him when he was at Chelsea. United were initially reluctant to sanction the player’s move in the middle of the season.

With the player keen on the switch and the prospect of losing him on a free in the summer seem to have convinced the United hierarchy to cash in on the veteran in the January transfer window.

Young joined United in the summer of 2011 and has gone on to make 261 appearances for the English giants.

The veteran, who started off as a winger has predominantly played at full-back for United the previous few seasons.

He took over as captain from Antonio Valencia at the beginning of this season

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United are 5th in the league, 5 points off Chelsea in fourth ahead of the match against arch-rivals Liverpool at Anfield.

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Man Utd agree on contract terms with midfielder who could be signed for £51m

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Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United have reportedly agreed on terms with Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United have reportedly agreed on terms with Portuguese star Bruno Fernandes. (h/t Sun)

The player has reportedly agreed on a Manchester United contract until 2025 worth £5milion-a-year ahead of a £51m transfer in the January transfer window.

The 25-year-old has played 25 times for Sporting this season and has scored 13 goals and 10 assists. (h/t Whoscored)

Bruno Fernandes

United were to make their first formal offer for the player. It is being reported now that the deal has already been agreed upon. (h/t Sun)

It’s claimed that Fernandes has been offered a deal nearing £100,000-a-week at United.

The signing of the Sporting skipper should provide the United midfield with numbers and an attacking impetus.

The midfielder has an £85million release clause in his contract but Old Trafford bosses have been working to drive the price down. The club were also open to offering two players to bring the price down. (h/t Sun)

Fernandes was part of the Portuguese squad that won the UEFA Nations League in 2019.

He has won 19 caps for the Portuguese national side and has scored 2 goals since making his debut in 2017.

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United next play Manchester City in the second leg of the Carabao Cup semifinals at the Etihad on Wednesday.

The Red Devils trail 3-1 from the first leg as they aim to get to their first final under Ole Gunnar Solksjaer.

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Transfer news: Man United in talks to seal £60m deal for 13-goal star

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Manchester United are in talks to sign Sporting Lisbon’s Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United are ready to firm up their interest in Sporting Lison midfielder Bruno Fernandes. (h/t BBC)

The Portuguese midfielder is also keen on a move to Old Trafford with a fee of £60m being touted. United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and assistant, Mike Phelan, watched Fernandes play against FC Porto on 5th January.

Midfield is a position where United are thin in numbers. Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini weren’t replaced and the likes of Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba are out injured.

Bruno Fernandes
Bruno Fernandes

Signing Fernandes will not just give United options in a depleted area of the squad but also add some much-needed quality to the attack. Sporting are already in the process of replacing the midfielder and are exploring alternatives. (h/t Guardian)

United were constantly linked with the player in the summer but it amounted to nothing. Fernandes extended his contract at Sporting until 2023 in November.

The 25-year-old has played 25 times for Sporting this season and has scored 13 goals and 10 assists. (h/t Whoscored)

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Fernandes was a part of the Portuguese squad that won the UEFA Nations League in 2019. United are currently 5th in the table, 5 points off 4th-placed Chelsea. We next face arch-rivals, Liverpool, at Anfield in the English Premier League.

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