Italian news outlet Tuttomercatoweb has reported that Manchester United have made Juventus star Joao Cancelo their top summer target. The Red Devils are targeting defensive stars and have been linked with moves for Thomas Meunier (Independent) and Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Daily Mail).
However, it seems that the Portuguese right-back is now their top target and that should come as no surprise. The fact that Juventus managed to snag him for just £35million (BBC) is an absolute bargain given just how well he has performed since joining the club.
It has barely been a year since the 24-year-old joined the Old Lady and yet, the impact he’s made as a right-back has been phenomenal. Easily among the best in the world in his position, Cancelo would be a perfect Manchester United signing.
Tall, very quick off his mark and a defensive monster, the Portuguese man made the 2018 World Cup squad for a reason. His abilities are second to none and Joao Cancelo defends just as well as he attacks, with him contributing to 6 goals.
Furthermore, his awareness and tactical understanding has made him a key player in Massimiliano Allegri’s team. This makes him arguably the perfect choice for the Red Devils, especially given the state of new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s current back-line.
At the moment, Manchester United have to depend upon Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian. All three are not at the level that the Red Devils need, especially Ashley Young. The 33-year-old has struggled defensively this season, which shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise given that he is a converted winger.
Darmian, on the other hand, has just under a year and a half left on his contract with the club, but Manchester United only gave him a new one to ensure he does not leave for free (ESPN).
That leaves them with Antonio Valencia and the 33-year-old hasn’t played a single minute under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
It shows exactly where Manchester United lack players and why they need someone as talented as Joao Cancelo. While he only joined Juventus in the summer of 2018, a move is not out of the question, although it might just be out of their reach.
But if Juventus are more than willing to sell, then offering the Portuguese a chance to play at Old Trafford is something Solskjaer should do with his eyes closed.
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Manchester United need quality defensive players if they are to challenge in the Premier League over the next few seasons.
To thrive, they need players like Joao Cancelo at their disposal and players like him do not fall from apple trees. If and when a chance arises to sign someone like Joao Cancelo, they have to act and do so fast.
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