According to the Daily Record, Manchester United have entered the race to sign Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes.
The Red Devils invested heavily in shoring up the defence by bringing in Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka last season. Despite the improvement shown, there are still issues to be ironed out.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is now considering adding the Lille star to his United roster. The Brazilian is valued at a modest €25m.
Competition for the 22-year-old will be high with the likes of Everton, Napoli, and Inter Milan all keen.
According to the report, Napoli see the young Samba star as a replacement for defensive lynchpin Kalidou Koulibaly – another player United are interested in.
The fact that they view him capable of replacing the Senegalese is a testament to the promise he has shown at the Stade Pierre Mauroy. Not only does he cost much lesser than Koulibaly but is also seven years the Senegalese’s junior.
Although United have eight centre-backs on their rolls a number of them are our of favor. Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo are out on loan while Phil Jones could the club in the summer. Add to it Eric Bailly’s injuries, Solskjaer’s dependable options considerably come down.
The Norwegian is keen to bring in a left-footed defender to partner Maguire in defence. Gabriel certainly fits that criteria.
The Brazilian has made 34 appearances this season scoring one goal. He played a key role as Les Dogues finished fourth in La Liga. It saw them miss out on the Champions League but qualify for the Europa League group stages.
At a time of financial uncertainty, United should be smart in the summer window. Gabriel satisfies our requirements while also coming at a price that is way below the premium for a top-quality centre-back.
Rather than pay over the odds for a short-term fix in Koulibaly, the club will be better off bringing in a long-term project such as Gabriel. Time could prove it to be a shrewd move.