Man United: Red Devils interested in “outstanding” (but injured) defender

    Manchester United are now interested in signing an “outstanding” defender, who’s also being targeted by Chelsea, according to reports from Spain.

    What’s the latest Man United transfer news?

    Man United are clearly interested in a new midfielder ahead of the January transfer window, and scouts were sent to watch Red Bull Salzburg wonderkid Oscar Gloukh during the international break, with the 19-year-old scoring for Israel against Romania.

    In the same report, it is detailed that Scott McTominay is being targeted by German champions Bayern Munich, as a back-up option for Fulham’s Joao Palhinha, so a replacement may be needed in January, and Erik ten Hag has his eye on another exciting youngster.

    Arthur Vermeeren has now been named as a transfer target for the Red Devils, with Ten Hag said to be a big fan of the Royal Antwerp starlet, but midfield is not the only position the manager is looking to strengthen, as he is also keen to bolster his backline.

    As reported by 90min, United used the international break to run the rule over some defensive targets, with Antonio Silva and Giorgio Scalvini being scouted, however there has now been an indication they could move for a more experienced centre-back.

    According to reports from Spain (via Football Talk), Man United have now registered their interest in signing Jose Gimenez, but they are not the only Premier League club in the running for his signature, with Chelsea also being named as potential suitors.

    There is a suggestion the Uruguayan could be available in the next transfer window, as Atletico Madrid are planning to cash-in, having grown frustrated with his consistent injury issues, which have seemingly not deterred Ten Hag.

    As the 28-year-old has now entered the final two years of his contract with Atletico, the Spanish club are ready to let him leave in the coming months to ensure they make the most profit out of his departure, potentially opening the door for the Red Devils.

    How good is Jose Gimenez?

    The Atletico defender has been lauded for his “outstanding defensive talent” by members of the media, and he has been an important player for the La Liga side ever since making his breakthrough, going on to make 286 appearances for the club.

    Over the past year, the 6 foot 2 centre-back ranks in the 86th percentile for clearances per 90, when compared to his positional peers, but he does not stand out on any other defensive metric, particularly struggling to win aerial duels.

    Worryingly, the Uruguay international has struggled with injuries – especially over the past year, currently out for going on over 100 days with a knee problem – and Atletico’s willingness to sanction his departure for that reason should be a red flag for Man United.

    It is clear that Gimenez is a talented and physical player, who could go on to be a success at Old Trafford if he is able to put his injury problems behind him, but it would be a risk for Ten Hag to sign, and there will most likely be better, younger options available in January.

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