Manchester United to make move for Boateng
Charlie Dear | 19 June 2018
Mourinho to sets sights on Germany defender
Manchester United’s pursuit of a central defender has taken them from Belgium to Germany in this World Cup lucky dip.
The club had identified Toby Alderweireld as their prime target this summer but Tottenham chief Daniel Levy is yet again proving a hard-line negotiator.
The Belgian defender is starring at the World Cup for his country right now and reports suggest Spurs want north of £70 million for the 29-year-old.
The other sticking point is the future of United attacker Anthony Martial.
It appears his time at Old Trafford is coming to an end with the Frenchman reluctant to pen a new deal.
He has many admirers around Europe but Spurs wanted to include him in a swap-deal for Alderweireld.
This has slowed talks between the two clubs and now Mourinho has his eyes on Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng.
The German international has been first-choice at the Allianz Arena since his 2011 move from Manchester City.
However, David Alaba and Javi Martinez were being deployed in defence during Pep Guardiola’s tenure which at times restricted Boateng’s playing time.
A three-man defence meant he also had to battle against Mehdi Benatia and Holger Badstuber.
A string of injuries have riddled the German’s career since 2017 and the signing of Niklas Sule has seen him fall down the pecking order.
Nonetheless, the World Cup winner will provide the experience and proven mentality that United need.
Chris Smalling’s future is in doubt, whilst Marco Rojo and Phil Jones haven’t been able to establish themselves as regular starters.
It looks like Eric Baily and Victor Lindelof will be the future but Boeteng could be an inspired signing.
The former City man may believe he has some unfinished business in the Premier League.
Having joined the Blue half of Manchester from Hamburg in 2010 he enjoyed a solid start to his first campaign.
He’d often alternate between right-back and centre-back with Micah Richards. He went on to make 24 appearances for the club in his sole season at the Etihad Stadium.
Mourinho has already brought in right-back Diego Dalot and may look to bring in fresh legs on the left-side.
However, a return to England as a multi-winning Bundesliga and one-time Champions League winner could be the final flourish that Boateng needs to add to an already decorated career.