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Manchester United and Liverpool battle for Junior Firpo but could Kieran Tierney be a better fit?

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is said to be going head-to-head with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp over Real Betis defender Junior Firpo this summer. United was first linked to the 22-year-old left-back last month in what is now being described as a £45 million transfer, which is the same amount as the player’s release clause.

The reports state that both Liverpool and United had not been put off by the player’s price tag, which could be good for the Spanish side. One factor in both clubs being interested in the player is to bolster the left-back position. United has just Luke Shaw who is a true left back with Liverpool having just Andy Robertson, however, United had Ashley Young, who could play in that role, which could be problematic.

Firpo can also play in a number of other positions, including; central defence, left-wing, which could also add some desire in both managers signing the 22-year-old this summer. However, for United at least, there might be other players out there who might be a better fit, especially for the money that would have to be spent on this transfer alone, if the reports are, in fact, true.

One of those players is Celtic’s 22-year-old left-back, Kieran Tierney. The Scottish international fullback is currently linked to Arsenal but a £15 million bid has been rejected for the player, who is valued at £25 million by the Scottish champions. This could become a £20 million saving on Firpo for United which could also see another player from the United Kingdom in the playing squad and a player with immense talent to rival Shaw.

Arsenal is seeking to replace Nacho Monreal who left the club at the end of last season so will be urgently looking to sign a player to replace him. However, United are not so desperate and that could add complications, such as the player not seeing himself as the first choice left-back at the club, which could be the same for Firpo. Both Tierney and Firpo can play in different positions, however, the former is not a regular at anything other than left-back.

Under the years of success under Sir Alex Ferguson, United always had more than one option in all positions, which is a good method to success and gives more depth, especially if there are injuries or the main player in that position is not performing to the best of their abilities. Competition in a certain position demands the best from each player in line to play there, which should produce for United, something we have not seen for some time.

Of course, there are no guarantees that United is actually interested in Firpo, or Tierney for that matter, however, they should be. United will have a number of players scouted for the last few months or longer. They should really be in a more advanced stage of recruitment at this stage of the summer, however, other Premier League clubs have still not made waves in the transfer market yet.

If a left-back is to be recruited this summer, Tierney should be a more affordable option to that of Firpo. The fact Celtic would sell for £25 million, if there was an offer on the table should really be a no brainer for United, who under the Glazers have been penny-pinching for a long time now. That should be great news for Ed Woodward and his purse strings. I think Tierney could challenge Shaw which would bring the best of both players, or at least it should do.

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