It’s clear that Man United don’t have enough strength in depth in central defence, and that’s highlighted when the likes of Raphael Varane or Lisandro Martinez get injured.
For any of the top clubs to sustain a season-long challenge nowadays, they need four top-class central defenders that, whilst they may not be happy to rotate, at least give their manager sufficient options.
Erik ten Hag’s side have suffered at various stages this season and for a variety of reasons, though one can point to a lack of stability at the back as being a major concern.
It’s perhaps with that in mind that the Red Devils have been scouting a new centre-back extensively, and once Sir Jim Ratcliffe arrives on the scene, it’s possible the club could land their preferred target.
‘I told you United were already scouting some players such as Antonio Silva from Benfica, who’s considered a super talented centre-back,’ CaughtOffside columnist, Fabrizio Romano, wrote in his exclusive Daily Briefing.
‘Staying in Portugal, a Sporting player called Goncalo Inacio who is left-footed and a different kind of centre-back, more technical than fast, is being looked at.’
There’s one player above all others that United have already considered signing, and despite the expected expense, the fact that he plays for Nice, also owned by Sir Jim, is likely to tip the balance.
‘Jean-Clair Todibo is having an incredible season at Nice and was already very expensive last summer when United considered the possibility of signing him,’ Romano continued.
‘At that point Nice wanted €40m/€45m, so imagine now, with the club first in the Ligue Un table, the boy is gonna be super expensive – but Man United really like him.’
At the time of writing, United will be readying themselves for a Manchester derby that has arguably seen them written off before a ball has been kicked.
The importance of a win for the Red Devils can’t be understated, however.
If ten Hag’s side were to acquire the three points after Sunday’s Old Trafford encounter, it would put them sixth and just three points behind Pep Guardiola’s swashbucklers, who themselves haven’t had the best start to a season either.
It promises to be an absorbing encounter, and how United’s centre-backs deal with the likes of Erling Haaland is likely to author the result – as well as give ten Hag and Sir Jim some food for thought in the transfer market.