After having strengthened the forward positions quite significantly with the addition of Romelu Lukaku from Everton, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has intensified the search for defensive players. Victor Lindelof was the first signing of the summer for us, but it seems like Jose Mourinho is keen on signing defensive players in this transfer window. The club have intensified the hunt for Paris St Germain’s Serge Aurier, who may be available in the transfer market due to a lack of regular game time at the French club, according to L’Equipe (h/t Metro).
The 24-year-old struggled for regular first-team football at PSG last season. The probability of his exit from the French club has increased after he was left out of the pre-season squad. PSG recently brought in former Barcelona star Dani Alves on a free transfer from Juventus.
His arrival means that Serge Aurier is surplus to requirements at the club. Last season, he made only 21 appearances in the league and his first-team opportunities will decrease substantially with the presence of Alves. Hence, it was not surprising to see him not be a part of the pre-season squad. It is a significant sign that the club are ready to listen to offers before the end of this transfer window.
Manchester United are in the market for a new right back and have looked at various options in the past. Antonio Valencia may have agreed to a contract extension, but Mourinho is clearly interested in signing a right-back capable of doing the job for the next 5 years. Aurier certainly fits into those requirements at 24 years of age.
Since he has just two years left on his contract and since PSG have made it clear that he is no longer part of their plans, United may get away with a substantially smaller offer of around £18-22million. He was signed from Toulouse in the summer of 2015 for £7.2million.
We have witnessed Manchester City strengthen the right-back spot with the signing of Kyle Walker from Tottenham for around £50million.
Aurier may not be at the same level as Walker, but the 24-year-old can be a real force in the United first team. Matteo Darmian is the viable replacement for Antonio Valencia in the squad, but the Italian has been preferred in the left-back position more often than not. The signing of Aurier makes a lot of sense.