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Man United earmarked £40m PL star as key defensive recruit this summer



Clarets star James Tarkowski among those under Manchester United radar

According to The Athletic (h/t Daily Star), Manchester United considered making a move for James Tarkowski this summer.

The 27-year-old has emerged as a key player for Burnley since joining them from Brentford in 2016. The Englishman is an experienced hand in the English game having made 124 appearances in the top flight.

United were keen on bringing in a defender to partner skipper Harry Maguire. Others on the list include RB Leipzig powerhouse Dayot Upamecano and Napoli superstar Kalidou Koulibaly.

Manchester United are keeing tabs on james Tarkowski
Manchester United are keeing tabs on james Tarkowski

Having not added to the position this summer, United are expected to rectify that in a year’s time.

Bringing in a new centre-back is seen as a priority for next season. United will consider the three aforementioned players and also monitor Real Madrid ace Raphael Varane.

Of the names mentioned, Tarkowski can be considered to be the wild card. Unlike the other three, the Englishman is not a big name and has no Champions League experience.

Harry Maguire Victor Lindelof
Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof have struggled for United

According to the report, Tarkowski will cost United around £40m. Premier League rivals West Ham United were also linked to the player but were unable to work out a deal.

Pros and cons!

A major advantage Tarkowski has is his knowledge of the English game. As someone who has spent his entire career in England so far, the central defender will not need a bedding-in period if he arrives at Old Trafford.

Tarkowski is a dominant presence in the air and can be a threat at either end s of the pitch. However, a major factor that could count against him is his lack of pace.

Raphael Varane is  also on United's radar
Raphael Varane is also on United’s radar

Maguire is not the quickest of players and is slow on the turn. Adding another defender alongside him who lacks pace is just asking for trouble.

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The Burnley star has made two appearances for England at the senior level. Whether he is the solution to our woes remains to be seen.