Manchester United join transfer race to sign Inter Milan defender Alessandro Bastoni
According to Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport via Football-Italia (h/t Daily Mail), Manchester United have entered the transfer race to sign Inter Milan defender Alessandro Bastoni ahead of the upcoming summer transfer window.
Bastoni has continued his excellent form from last season, impressing at the back once again for Inter as they sought to retain their Scudetto title. The Italian centre-back was a rock at the back for the Nerazzurri this term, helping them to a Coppa Italia trophy.
Unfortunately for the Serie A club, they lost out on the league title this time around to arch-rivals AC Milan by two points. That does not take anything away from the 23-year-old, who continued to outperform most others on the pitch in defence.
This has seen him attract attention from the Premier League, with clubs like United, Manchester City, and Tottenham Hotspur interested in signing the player. Spurs will especially feel confident about securing his services, given that Bastoni played under Antonio Conte during his time in Milan.
Inter in financial stress
To make things worse, the Red Devils failed to qualify for the Champions League next season, which gives their rival clubs an advantage in convincing the Italy international to swap his native country for England. What Erik ten Hag’s side could benefit from, however, is Inter’s financial stress.
The Stadio Giuseppe Meazza outfit is in desperate need of cash in order to balance their books, and it could force them into selling some of their stars this summer. With ten Hag looking to receive massive financial backing from the Manchester side in order to build a new-look team, the €60m asking price for Bastoni may be met.
United are in need of reinforcements at the back, given how underwhelming their central defenders have been this season. Raphael Varane was signed from Real Madrid last summer to bolster the rearguard, but he has failed to meet expectations.
Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire were barely able to show any consistency in their performances, with the latter guilty of committing schoolboy errors in high-pressure situations. The skipper has not been at his best this term, which will be a cause of concern for ten Hag.
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Despite the poor displays from the first-choice centre-backs, other defenders like Phil Jones and Eric Bailly were not given a chance to step up and show their worth. This could potentially see them depart the club in the summer, and if so, the Manchester side need new signings to fill this gap.
Bastoni would prove to be an excellent addition to the squad, and at 23, he could prove to be a long-term asset to the Red Devils. It remains to be seen if ten Hag will push for Bastoni’s signature in the coming weeks, or if the Dutchman has other transfer targets in mind.