Report: Ryan Shawcross latest defender linked with Manchester United move

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After letting Ryan Shawcross leave for Stoke City in 2007, Manchester United are rumored to be interested in re-signing the English defender.

Shawcross, 27, came through the academy at Old Trafford after joining the Red Devils in 2002 but was let go by Sir Alex Ferguson after loan spells at Royal Antwerp and Stoke, while the Potters were in the Championship.

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The towering defender is now Stoke’s captain, has been called up to the English national team and according to various reports, Ferguson inserted a buy-back clause in the deal which saw Shawcross leave United over seven years ago.

Louis van Gaal is desperate to increase his defensive options and with deals for Mats Hummels and Ron Vlaar looking increasingly expensive, and unlikely, for the January window, perhaps a move for Shawcross would make perfect sense.

He would provide great cover and even thrive at the heart of United’s defense after making 225 appearances for Stoke. He has experience in the PL and may relish a second bite of the apple with the club where he learned his trade.

A commanding center back in the mold of Nemanja Vidic is exactly what United need and Shawcross certainly fits that bill. There are some question marks over his distribution but alongside Marcos Rojo he could be the stopper and the Argentine could spray the ball around. With Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans either injured and out of form for most of the current season, United could do a lot worse than make a surprise move for Shawcross.