Manchester United are set to step up their efforts to sign Milan Skriniar from Inter Milan this summer, according to reports.
The centre-back’s contract at the San Siro runs until June 2023 after he agreed on a four-year contract with the Serie A giants last summer.
According to The Mirror, Inter have decided now is a good time to cash in on the Slovakia international, who has been capped 31 times, and United are set to battle for his signature with Real Madrid. It may be a way for them to address their own transfer spending amid the coronavirus financial crisis that will hit the transfer window once it re-opens.
Having Champions League football next season could be a big factor in United getting such deals over the line. Especially when Real Madrid, one of the biggest clubs in the world, are also showing interest in the player.
The report adds Inter are demanding a transfer fee of around £52.5m, which is a reasonable price given Skriniar is a world-class defender and one of a few defenders I can recall doing a decent job on Lionel Messi when both sides met in the Champions League.
His transfer from Sampdoria to Inter Milan in 2017 made him the most expensive Slovakian in football history – costing his present club £30m.
United could definitely do with an upgrade on Victor Lindelof to play alongside Harry Maguire.
This season our defence is stronger following the arrivals of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire, as well as the emergence of Brandon Williams at left-back, but if United are serious about contending they will go in search of another centre-back.
Unfortunately for Axel Tuanzebe, who I rate very highly, he’s been unable to stay injury free whenever he’s got a run in the team. He’s also had bad injuries while out on loan with Aston Villa in the past. It’s a shame because I think he would compliment Maguire nicely and now we probably need to spend big on a centre-back for a second consecutive season.
Eric Bailly could be the right fit for Maguire too, but the Ivorian is made of glass and can’t help but put his body in danger with reckless tackles, so I find it hard to see him going an entire season without any sustained periods out with injury. If Solskjaer aims to win the Premier League as United manager he must address that.
And, yes, I believe Skriniar would be an excellent addition. A good mixture of top level experience and potential to be the world’s best defender.
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