It is one of football’s worst kept secrets that Manchester United need a commanding, proven and reliable centre-back, yet we still stand with no new acquisitions in that area with the new season looming large.
Jose Mourinho has not been able to hide his frustrations, having to openly declare to the world’s media that he is two players away from being happy. The pressure is on the powers that be to broker deals in order for United to challenge this season and time is running out.
United have been linked to numerous centre-backs without any reward so far this summer and they are leaving themselves in a perilous position- any side now will be looking to charge an arm and a leg knowing United are not exactly specialists in efficient transfer dealings and time is not on their side.
There would be no better expert in those areas than Tottenham’s Daniel Levy. A hard businessman and as tough and painful a negotiator as they come. Yet, it appears United are prepared to haggle with him once more, with centre-back Toby Alderweireld still on United’s radar.
That’s if this tweet from journalist Sam Pilger is to be believed.
#MUFC are not giving up on Toby Alderweireld. A deal can still be done. Sixteen days before the season starts Mourinho knows he needs a new commanding and experienced centre-half.
— Sam Pilger (@sampilger) 25 July 2018
Alderweireld was marginalised for the majority of last season, through a combination of injury and contractual disputes. Yet his stock has been restored after helping Belgium reach the semi-finals of the World Cup.
With only sixteen days until United’s season gets underway at home to Leicester City, United are a) in a race against time to complete the signing and b) playing with fire in dialling Levy’s number.
Fans are already voicing their displeasure at how United, as a whole, are being run so imagine the ferocity of the discontent should United not strengthen in the heart of the defence.
Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly have both shown promise for either club or country in recent months and they need a steady presence to oversee their continued development. Let’s face it, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo have all failed to become that senior figure.
The money is there for United, it’s now a case of put up or shut up and nail down their targets.
Alderweireld would definitely fit the bill and has voiced his disgust at how he was treated at Spurs last season.
How many more hints could he give?
Over to you Mr Woodward!