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Jan Vertonghen cheaper option than Mats Hummels for Man Utd

Premier League top four chances Manchester United (odds-on at 4/7) are in desperate need of cover in defence, after seeing no less than seven of their backline suffer injuries this season so far.

The likes of Luke Shaw, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, Rafael and, most recently, usual midfielder Daley Blind have all suffered spells on the sidelines this term. That has led to Louis van Gaal having to blood inexperienced youth players such as Paddy McNair, Tyler Blackett and Tom Thorpe in the league.

As a result of those continuous setbacks, United could be forced to go in for Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen, who has not enjoyed his best season with the north London club to date.

New Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has also endured a difficult start to life at White Hart Lane, as his team are down in 11th on 14 points after 11 games. It has been reported that the Argentine coach is frustrated with Vertonghen’s performances this term, and could be tempted to let him go for the right price.

The Belgium international, who may welcome a move, was dropped to the bench for Tottenham’s last game with Stoke City, but may get the chance to reclaim his place after they lost at home 2-1. Spurs’ next match is away to Hull City, where they are 5/4 chances to win.

Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels is Van Gaal’s preferred choice, but the German giants could demand a fee of up to £40m for the World Cup winner, whereas Vertonghen could be available for half that price.

Spurs also have a whole host of names in the heart of defence if Vertonghen goes with Younes Kaboul, Vlad Chiriches, Eric Diera and Federico Fazio on the club’s books.

Man Utd do already have a number of left-footed defenders in their squad, but beggars can’t be choosers when it comes to these matters. The falling Premier League giants have already let in 14 goals this term, including five against newly-promoted Leicester City.

An even cheaper option for Van Gaal could be his Dutch compatriot Ron Vlaar of Aston Villa, with the player out of contract at the end of the season.