Manchester United and Manchester City offer £58 million for Inter Milan central defender Milan Skriniar – reports

Manchester United and Manchester City have apparently both bid £58 million to sign Inter Milan central defender Milan Skriniar, according to reports. If true, it might seem that the Slovakian could be on his way to the Premier League this summer, if the bids are accepted with the player making a choice on his destination, unless he wants to stay in Italy.

United are known to be interested in signing defensive reinforcement with Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo both likely to leave the Old Trafford club this summer and Phil Jones wanted by West Ham United, if they remain in the Premier League. That would leave United with a weaker defence, needing reinforcement.

Pep Guardiola will also need some reinforcement, however, if City’s European ban is upheld on Monday, the player might have a decision to make with the club appealing their ban, which was due to last for two seasons. It could well be an interesting summer with many Premier League clubs seeking to better their squads.

Italian news source Tuttosport reported on Sunday that United had bid £58 million for Skriniar but City had matched that bid. It is also suggested that Bayern Munich and Real Madrid had made bids for the player, despite the Spanish club suggesting that they would not be signing any big name players this summer because of the coronavirus pandemic.

United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has an open channel with Inter Milan after selling Romelu Lukaku to the club last summer, loaning Alexis Sanchez and selling Ashley Young to the club during the January transfer window. It could well be that United offer Sanchez as part of the offer with Inter getting a deal done that way.

That said though, Skriniar will not be the only defender on the clubs radar as if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is seeking to sign a defensive reinforcement, he will have a number of options that have been scouted, or are being scouted, ready for United to move on should a higher placed target not be acquired.

Manchester United ‘ready to step up’ £52.5 million bid to sign Inter Milan defender – reports

Manchester United are reportedly hoping to sign Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar this summer, according to reports. The player has been linked to United before, back in 2018, but it was not meant to be with the player remaining at the Italian club. However, reports now suggest that the club will allow the player to leave this summer.

Skriniar, 25, signed a four-year contract at the San Siro club back in 2019, which would keep him at the club until the summer of 2023. The performances of the Slovakian defender in Antonio Conte’s side this season, has seen him linked to some of Europe’s top clubs. He is described as ‘Technically proficient and physically imposing, the 6ft 2in defender is viewed by many as the ideal modern defender’.

It is suggested that despite the years remaining on his contract, Inter have decided to cash in on the player, something which a number of clubs will be doing with players this summer and beyond as the footballing world adapts to the financial repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic which suspended world football in mid-March with the Bundesliga returning at the weekend.

It is stated that the Italian side, who are currently occupying a UEFA Champions League spot in the Serie A, with the league yet to resume, would demand around £52.5 million for the central defender this summer, something that will see many teams lining up to tempt him away, especially Manchester City, who tried to sign him last summer.

It is also stated that Barcelona and Real Madrid will be interested in the player also, giving United a tough task of signing the player, if they are really interested. United signed Harry Maguire for £80 million last summer and are reportedly seeking a defensive partner for him amid doubts of Victor Lindelof, who has not had the beat of seasons.

United have many defenders at the club right now though with Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Maguire, and Axel Tuanzebe all at the club plus Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo, who are both on loan away from the club. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would need to sell a number of players to make way for a player like Skriniar.

During the current season, Skriniar has made a total of 32 appearances for the club, not scoring any goals, making one assist. In his career at Inter, the Slovakian has made 118 appearances, scoring four goals and three assists, signing for the club from Sampdoria in the summer of 2017. He could be a brilliant defensive partner for any defender at a top club.

Realistically, Solskjaer probably won’t spend this amount of money on another defender, despite needing to find a solid partner for Maguire. I feel that Eric Bailly, whose injury problems at United have been prevalent, should be given the chance to form a partnership with Maguire. Axel Tuanzebe is another player who should be given a chance.

This summer will be a big one for United and Solskjaer, but right now, I feel United will need to concentrate on sorting out the attack at the club, including the right-wing position, then look to sort out the midfield, which will be needed is Paul Pogba does leave the club. Only then should United be looking to spend big sums of money on defenders.

Manchester United boosted as Milan Skriniar is yet to agree new contract at Inter Milan; other targets linked to Old Trafford club

Manchester United were linked to Milan Skriniar of Inter Milan earlier this year. There was speculation with the Old Trafford club readying to state their interest in the player during the summer, but nothing materialised, unless you believe that an offer was made, which was rejected by the Italian club, which came from some of the clickbait newspapers around Europe. On Tuesday, Calciomercato published an exclusive about the future of the Slovakian defender.

It has been reported Skriniar has yet to agree on a new deal with the Nerazzurri. According to the Italian source, Skriniar held talks with his club three months ago and nothing has been sorted regarding a new contract. It could be something or nothing. It was reported in the summer that Anthony Martial would not sign a new contract with the Old Trafford club, and recent reports suggest otherwise. Things can change, so this does not confirm United may get their man.

Skriniar currently earns around €1.7 million a season and had demanded around €3 million, with €2.6 million put on the table. Since then, nothing seems to have materialised regarding a new deal for the Slovakian. Obviously, at a club like United, he would receive a massive pay rise, which seems to be the way Ed Woodward conduct business. Some of the players on high wages are not necessarily worth what they are being paid, Phil Jones for example. Woodward seems keen to throw the money in the player’s direction though.

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There is nothing to suggest that Inter Milan would sell Skriniar, whose current contract expires in the summer of 2022, so there is no rush to tie the player down to a new contract, which would probably expire in the summer of 2023, just a year later. However, if the player does not sign a new deal, it could lead to him getting itchy feet and seeking a move elsewhere, possibly to a club who will give him what he thinks he deserves, wages wise.

It is yet to be heard as to whether United are still interested in the player, which may or may not be the case. The club definitely needs to bring in competent defenders, either in January or next summer, especially with the fact that both Chris Smalling and Phil Jones will be out of contract in the summer, although rumours surfaced last month suggesting that Smalling could be given a new contract at the Theatre of Dreams.

Jose Mourinho was reportedly keen to sign Toby Alderweireld from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer, but it was confirmed in the media, who were briefed by Woodward, that he did not consider the players the manager was interested in to be much better than the ones the club already had. It was suggested that United were also interested in Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng, with a loan deal for the German touted, but seemingly rejected.

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I am sure Mourinho will have other targets to secure his defence, whether it be in January or beyond and after the start to the season, alongside the leaked goals, which after the Chelsea match on Saturday now stands at 18 goals in the opening 12 games of the season – 16 of those conceded in the Premier League alone, of which nine matches have been played so far. Last season, in the entirety of the Premier League season, United conceded just 28 goals.

Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly has been linked to United again recently. He was linked to the club in the summer, but the media suggested it would cost United more than £70 million to secure the services of the Senegalese international. Another name mentioned during the international break was Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic. It has been suggested that the Serbian could cost £40million. It shows that Mourinho has other targets on his mind in order to rebuild United’s defence.

Manchester United not fully keen on Toby Alderweireld with seven other names on the shortlist

Manchester United have been linked with a move for Tottenham Hotspur defender Toby Alderweireld this summer but talks have recently his a stalemate with United’s valuation of £55 million being towered by Spurs’ £75 million valuation of the player. In a years time, because of a clause in the player’s contract, he could leave the North London club for just £25 million, which makes anything over United’s valuation of the player to be money not spent well. Because of this, it is reported that United a list of other players to seek to sign this summer instead of the Belgian.

The Manchester Evening News has reported that United have a list of eight central defenders, with the aim of one of them being signed by Jose Mourinho’s team. Despite the headlines dominating with reports that Alderweireld is the main target, it has been suggested that United’s scouts are not 100% sure on the Belgian because of his profile, whatever that means – it could be a number of things. Despite the Spurs man being experienced in the Premier League, United seem to be looking further afield with players from the Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A on the list.

United have already commenced their business in the summer transfer window completing the signing of Diogo Dalot in a €22 million deal from FC Porto last Wednesday and a day before that announced a deal with Shakhtar Donetsk over Brazilian midfielder Fred, although he has not yet been confirmed as a United player. It has shown that United were eager to get players in ahead of the pre-season tour of the United States of America and Germany, despite some players seemingly unavailable for some or all of the tour because of the FIFA World Cup in Russia.

It has been reported that United’s seven other options, other than Alderweireld are; Raphael Varane, Jerome Boateng, Kalidou Koulibaly, Milan Skriniar, Alessio Romagnoli, Jose Gimenez and Caglar Soyuncu. However, it is also suggested that any of these prospective deals would be the club’s most complicated transfer this summer. Below you will find a short profile of the players which will include their age, current club, strengths, weaknesses and what I feel would be the chances of United signing the player, based on my own opinion and what is being reported in the media.

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Raphael Varane

The French international, 25, was signed by then Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho for a fee of around €10 million in 2011. Varane has completed his seventh season at the La Liga club, playing a total of 233 times, scoring 10 goals. He has also played 42 times for France, scoring twice. Despite being a peripheral figure in Madrid, Varane is a player United have been linked to summer after summer. Mourinho will rate him highly, signing him seven years ago, and would obviously be interested should the player seek a future away from Real Madrid. However, Varane has won his fourth UEFA Champions League winner’s medal in five years, winning 15 major honours with the club, so to pry him from the clutches of Madrid would be difficult. Varane is a strong passer and has an immense concentration of the game, however, tackling is a problem for him at times.

Likelihood of completing this signing: 5/10

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Jerome Boateng

The 29-year-old German international has played in the Premier League before, spending the 2010/11 season at Manchester City. Costing €13.5 million that summer, after the frustration of playing predominantly at right-back, Boateng is a player that City may regret losing, based on his career after leaving the Etihad. Boateng has played 258 times for Bayern Munich, scoring eight goals in his career which started in Germany at Hertha Berlin, playing in the reserve side, then the first team before signing for Hamburger SV, before joining City. In seven seasons at Munich, Boateng has won the Bundesliga six times, in succession from the 2012/13 season onwards. He’s won 14 major honours with the Bavarian club, also winning the FA Cup at City. Internationally, Boateng has played 71 times for Germany, scoring one goal. He helped the U21 side lift the European Championships in 2009, winning the FIFA World Cup in 2014. Boateng is similar to Varane in that his passing and concentration are both strengths but tackling is seen as a weakness. The player is said to be considering his future this summer, which could mean a new challenge is on the horizon.

Likelihood of completing this signing: 6/10

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Kalidou Koulibaly

The Senegalese international is just 26 and seen as a huge prospect in the game. Born in France, playing for Metz, moving to Genk in Belgium, now playing for Napoli in Italy, Koulibaly is experienced, despite not yet playing in the Premier League. The player has been linked to United previously, albeit not all that credibly. The player has completed his fourth season in Italy, playing a total of 164 times for Napoli, scoring eight goals. He has won two major honours in his career; the Belgian Cup with Genk in the 2012/13 season and the Supercoppa Italiana with Napoli in 2014. Koulibaly is 6ft 5in, physically strong, recognised for his aerial prowess, passing ability, and versatility. Koulibaly would be my first choice after Alderweireld to come to United. The African Cup of Nations would normally be a problem bringing African players to the Premier League but as the tournament has been switched from January/February to June/July from 2019, it is no longer an issue that United would lose players at an important part of the season. His reported price tag, if true, could be a problem.

Likelihood of completing this signing: 5/10

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Milan Skriniar

The 23-year-old Slovakian has been linked to United previously and it was reported recently that both United and City made a £53 million bid for the Inter Milan player, both of which were turned down. After a sensational season at the San Siro, helping his team return to the UEFA Champions League, beating Lazio on the final day of the season, it would see the club want to retain the player, or at least sell him for a large fee if they have to. United has been unsuccessful when dealing with Inter, seeking to sign Ivan Perisic from the club last summer, which did not materialise. Unless a record bid is received by Inter, I doubt Skriniar will be leaving the club. He is a good prospect, one for now and the future, and one which many of Europe’s biggest clubs have been watching. He’s played 40 matches for Inter, scoring four goals so far, also playing 18 times for his country. Skriniar is a strong passer and a player whose concentration is impeccable. A real asset for any club and so far, only Inter can be the victors, whether it be by keeping the Slovakian or selling him for a huge profit from the €20 million paid to Sampdoria last summer.

Likelihood of completing this signing: 3/10

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Alessio Romagnoli

The 23-year-old AC Milan defender may not be as experienced as other players in this article, but he is one that other clubs have been linked with already this year. Coming through the youth ranks at Roma, Romagnoli has completed the sixth season of his career so far. He has played 111 times for Milan, scoring five goals. He was linked to United, Chelsea, and Barcelona in February with Milan seemingly likely to offer him a new contract to deter all three clubs from being able to make a deal to sign the player. Barcelona seem to be out of the action with Samuel Umtiti signing a new contract and Clement Lenglet on their radar. Romagnoli is strong at holding on to the ball, passing, aerial duels and concentration, however, his weaknesses include; crossing, discipline, and tackling. He could compliment a player who has discipline and tackling though, so that is not to put anyone off the player. He is highly rated in Italy and has played seven times for his country.

Likelihood of completing this signing: 5/10

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Jose Gimenez

The 23-year-old Uruguayan currently plays for Atletico Madrid since signing for them for a €900,000 fee in 2013. Gimenez has been linked to United many times, the last in November 2017 when it was suggested that the player had been given the all clear to make the move, seemingly rejecting United, according to the media. We see stories like that all the time, there is nothing to suggest the player rejected United, or that United made a move to sign the player. Gimenez has played 113 times for Atletico, scoring six goals. He is experienced in the fact this was his sixth season as a first team player. He has also been a mainstay in the Uruguay national side, playing 42 times, scoring five goals. Gimenez has won three major honours at Atletico, winning La Liga in the 2013/14 season, lifting the Supercopa de España in 2014 and winning the UEFA Europa League last season. He is also a runner-up twice in the UEFA Champions League, losing to Real Madrid both times. The player has two years remaining on his current contract.

Likelihood of completing this signing: 5/10

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Caglar Soyuncu

The 22-year-old Turkish defender has been strongly linked to Arsenal this summer with the media adding United recently. Turkish Football wrote about the player in February, suggesting three reasons as to why he could be a success at United, so there must have been some interest in the past for the young international. Soyuncu started his career at Altınordu in Turkey and was linked to Besiktas, Galatasaray, and Sevilla before moving to Freiburg. He has been linked to Lille, Roma, Villarreal, Manchester City and Arsenal since playing in the Bundesliga. Soyuncu has played for Turkey at U18, U19, U20, and U21 international level, also playing 15 times for the senior side. After two seasons in the Bundesliga, playing 55 matches and scoring one goal, this summer could be a big one for the young Turkish player. Soyuncu possesses leadership qualities, something United may be interested in, is a good playmaker, dribbler, also being strong in the air. He is a strong defender, a player that admires Jose Mourinho and despite being 22, has experience and longevity in the game. Not all the best players in the world play for big teams.

Likelihood of completing this signing: 6/10

Manchester United credited with an interest in Slovakian defender

Manchester United have been named as a club interested in signing Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar according to reports. The Slovakian defender has had a good season for the Nerazzurri so far which has reportedly seen attention from Barcelona, Real Madrid, United and Manchester City. Skriniar’s agent, Karol Csonto, has even suggested that one of the mentioned clubs had put in a £57 million offer for the player, which was rejected as Inter cannot afford to lose the player at this stage of the season.

Csonto has insisted that Skriniar would not be leaving Inter in this transfer window but a move could be sanctioned in the summer, if there was agreement in a suitable fee and add-ons, which could see Inter receive a hefty amount of money plus an option of receiving more if the buying club and Inter were able to agree on add-ons. Csonto had spoken to the media about the offer which was on the table and seemingly rejected by Inter with The Sun reporting the representative, said:

“I knew he would never leave in this window, but I can confirm that big clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid, and the two Manchester clubs are interested. And I can also add that one of these clubs has made a £57million bid for him. Inter rejected it, telling me that they can’t afford to lose their defender now.”

Adding to the speculation as to whether Skriniar would be allowed to leave the Serie A club in the summer, Csonto commented:

“I can’t really say, but there are still a lot of months and a lot can happen.”

The 22-year-old joined Inter from Sampdoria in the summer, despite strong interest from La Liga club Atletico Madrid, with the Slovakian having a strong season and being one of Inter’s best players currently. Skriniar has played every minute of the Serie A season so far, scoring three goals for his club in the process. Looking at the four clubs who have been credited with an interest in Skriniar, both City and Barcelona have brought in a defender this winter with City signing Aymeric Laporte by activating his £57 million release clause and Barcelona signing Yerry Mina.

Looking at the £57 million which has reportedly been offered by one of the four clubs, it being the same as the release clause paid to Athletic Bilbao for Laporte, I do wonder if he was a backup option for the Frenchman if City were unable to pull off the deal, or perhaps one of the other clubs decided to offer a similar fee based on what the going rate is for defenders in the current market, possibly hoping that a deal could be done. There is nothing to suggest this offer had been made by United or even if Jose Mourinho is seeking a new defender this month.

Currently, United have Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, and Daley Blind as the clubs experienced defenders. Axel Tuanzebe, a player looking to earn his place in Mourinho’s squad next season has headed out on loan with Aston Villa, which would have seen United have seven players who would contend for two or three places in a team, depending on what formation was being played by the manager. Mourinho and United may well have been testing the water for a move in the summer, so could all of the other clubs though.

This season, Skriniar has played 22 times in Serie A and has three goals to his name. He holds a passing accuracy of 91%, which is very good, averaging around 18 metres per pass. The Slovakian wins half of his duels also averaging at least seven defensive actions per match. In an attacking sense, Skriniar has created five chances for his teammates this season, which shows his ability going forward, despite it not being his strongest attribute. Skriniar does seem to be a player who would attract the biggest clubs in the world with United, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

I am unsure as to whether a player like him would fit into Manchester City’s budget though!

copyright: JW