Manchester United are plotting a £20 million move for Lille central defender Gabrial Magalhaes, according to reports by The Sun. It has been suggested in the report that United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sees the Brazilian as the long-term partner for Harry Maguire at the Old Trafford club. It is imperative that United strengthen their defence and their attack this summer, which are the two main attributes of challenge for titles and winning them. As Sir Alex Ferguson said; “attack wins you games, defence wins you titles.”
Sky Sports has also reported that United are interested in the Brazilian, 22 and that the club has been swayed by the reasonable price tag of the player. It has been reported recently that Solskjaer will be looking to sign a left-footed central defender this summer, which has seen the club linked to Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake, who looks to be on his way to Manchester City this summer and Villarreal defender Pau Torres. That would suggest that Solskjaer is actively seeking to address the problems in defence.
United conceded 54 goals in the Premier League during the 2018/19 season and after the addition of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Maguire last summer, United improved defensively, conceding only 36 goals in the league, which made them the third best defence in the league. Improvement will still be needed if the club is going to take on both Liverpool and Manchester City in the chase for the Premier League title next season, which could happen if the club made the right signings this summer.
The Brazilian has had a good season in France which has seen him linked with a number of clubs. Napoli and Everton rival United in the chase for the player. It is expected that the Brazilian will leave the club this summer of Lille owner Gerard Lopez admitting that much. The arrival of another defender could end the United careers of Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones with the former being loaned in January and the latter still injured. Lille owner, Lopez, as reported by The Sun, said:
“With Gabriel, we are talking and we’ve given him an exit pass. He will choose his club this week.”
The Brazilian is contracted at Lille until the summer of 2023, signing a new contract in February 2020. However, that seems to have been signed with a view of selling the player this summer and the player seemingly knowing that. The Brazilian has made a total of 34 appearances at Lille during the last season, scoring one goal. He played in Ligue 1, the Coupe de la Ligue, the Coupe de France and the UEFA Champions League. The experience in the Champions League would be good for United.
United also look set to lose Chris Smalling this summer with suggestion that AS Roma could either make his mover to the club permanent or loan him for another season, making the mover permanent next season. However, other reported have also stated that Napoli are interested in the player with Kalidou Koulibaly likely to leave the club this summer. That could leave United with Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire and Axel Tuanzebe for next season, clearly needing strengthening to compete in four competitions.
Written by John Walker