Man Utd face battle with Liverpool to sign £45m defensive target

Manchester United are battling it out with Liverpool to sign Real Betis defender Junior Firpo, according to reports.

Marca, as cited by the Mirror, report that United are interested in the 22-year-old defender as part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s summer overhaul.

The report states that Firpo has a release clause of £45m, which Betis are happy to let the Spaniard go for if met by the Reds.

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Firpo made 22 appearances in La Liga last season (whoscored), and can operate in a number of different positions. The Spaniard can play left-back, on the wing and in central defence.

However, United will not have a free run at signing Firpo, with Jurgen Klopp also interested in the player to provide competition for Andy Robertson in defence.

United could benefit from the versatility of Firpo, but must also strengthen properly in key areas this summer.

In recent years, it has too often been a case of square pegs in round holes at Old Trafford. We have seen the likes of Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young as regular defensive starters it is time for the Reds to be targeting specialists to improve in key areas of weakness.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka is a player who looks nailed on to sign for the Reds this summer; his stability in defence as well as pace in attack should improve United’s balance down the right considerably next season.



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