Walk the line: Tottenham right back emerges as Man Utd target?
Manchester United, odds-on at 2/5 with Coral for a top four finish, are looking at Tottenham right back Kyle Walker as a potential solution to one of Louis van Gaal’s problem positions at Old Trafford.
Reportedly valued at £20m minimum, tabloid reports say 24-year-old Walker has emerged as an alternative Red Devils target to Southampton’s Nathaniel Clyne, who has replaced him in the England set-up due to long-term injury.
Out-of-contract Barcelona man Dani Alves, who could move for free, and Everton’s Republic of Ireland international Seamus Coleman have also been linked with moving to United this summer.
Walker, who has four years left on his contract at White Hart Lane, has returned to first-team action with Spurs following a nine-month lay-off with thigh, pelvic and groin problems that required surgery to repair.
The rash and injury-prone Rafael da Silva joins natural wide player Antonio Valencia as existing senior options for Van Gaal, but the Red Devils boss is understood to view getting a reliable option in as a priority.
Northern Ireland’s Paddy McNair has also deputised, but the youngster’s future could lie in central defence or a holding midfield role rather than at full back.
Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino will be wary that predecessors have sold some of Spurs’ best and brightest players, most notably Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Carrick and Teddy Sheringham, to United over the last 15-20 years.
Selling to a top four rival, with Tottenham 9/2 to finish in a Champions League place this term, would hurt Spurs’ potential to remain in the mix every year, and chairman Daniel Levy reportedly blocked Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor making a winter window deadline day loan switch to West Ham United for similar reasons.
Walker will want to win his England place back, especially with Liverpool counterpart Glen Johnson’s international career looking over. Hammers loanee Carl Jenkinson, owned by Tottenham’s north London neighbours Arsenal, has staked a claim, however.