Spanish outlet AS is reporting that Manchester United want to sign Borussia Dortmund center back Marc Bartra.
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The 26-year-old was a regular for the Bundesliga giants last season, his first in Germany’s top-flight after arriving from boyhood club Barcelona.
Per the report, Jose Mourinho wants Bartra to add cover for United’s central defensive area after adding Victor Lindelof from Benfica, plus having Eric Bailly as his top center back. A move for Bartra would likely see Phil Jones and Chris Smalling out of the picture at Old Trafford, with Marcos Rojo set to return from injury after the start of the 2017-18 campaign.
Bartra was injured in a bomb explosion close to Dortmund’s team bus before a UEFA Champions League quarterfinal against AS Monaco last season. The Spanish international had surgery on his arm as his missed the final months of the season but he made his comeback in the final game of the campaign as Dortmund secured UCL group stage qualification for the 2017-18 campaign.
A ball-playing center back, Bartra would provide a calming influence in United’s defense but it seems unlikely that he would be a regular starter to begin with under Mourinho. That said, with plenty of games next season for United as they return to the UCL, plus mount a PL title challenge, Mourinho will want to make sure he has plenty of cover in defense.
With Everton continuing to splash the cash at a rapid rate, it seems only right to believe that Romelu Lukaku could be on his way out of Goodison Park this summer.
Given Alexandre Lacazette’s imminent arrival at Arsenal and Olivier Giroud‘s Gunners future appearing to be coming to an end, if you start to connect the dots then the latter replacing Lukaku at Everton makes sense.
The Sun has a report which states that the Toffees are willing to buy Giroud, 30, from Arsenal this summer and pay $25.8 million for the French international.
Giroud is still criticized by many for his hot and cold nature, but when you look at his stats it’s tough to not be impressed. He has 69 goals in 164 Premier League appearances since arriving in 2012 from Montpellier, plus has 98 goals in 226 games in all competitions for the Gunners. That’s an average of just over a goal every other game.
If Lukaku does leave Everton then Giroud would be a perfect replacement, and arguably his hold-up play and aerial ability is better than Lukaku’s. With Sandro Ramirez arriving from Malaga to add another forward option, Giroud would be fighting with Ramirez for a starting spot if Lukaku was to leave. All of a sudden the Toffees seem true to their word about investing some serious cash into their squad following the arrival of Jordan Pickford, Davy Klaassen and Sandro Ramirez this summer.
Could the Toffees benefit from a transfer merry-go-round which sees Lukaku head to Chelsea, Lacazaette to Arsenal and Giroud to Everton? It appears the dominoes are all in place for Ronald Koeman and Co. to benefit.