Manchester United’s hunt for a new center back looks set to go right down to the wire and it has taken a new twist after their 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich in preseason on Sunday.
Jose Mourinho has chased the likes of Harry Maguire and Yerry Mina this summer but German international defender Jerome Boateng, 29, appears to be at the top of United’s list in the final days of the summer window.
Sky Sports in Germany is reporting that United’s reprentatives are in talks with Bayern Munich about signing Boateng for a fee in the region of $56.8 million.
Is an ageing Boateng worth that kind of cash?
His ability is undoubted as the World Cup winner has won every trophy going with Bayern and has been a Bundesliga mainstay for over a decade. After one season at Manchester City in 2010/11, Boateng could well return to Manchester with a point to prove as he is coming off the back of a rough World Cup with Germany as they crashed out at the group stage and he was sent off against Sweden.
Boateng’s combination of pace and power means he will suit Mourinho’s style of play well and alongside Eric Bailly they would form a physically dominant partnership. However, when you think of Boateng, the first thing that pops into your mind is likely him falling over as Lionel Messi tangled him up at the Nou Camp…
That moment aside, there’s no doubting that Boateng would be an upgrade on Marcos Rojo, Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling alongside Bailly. He’s also experienced and Mourinho knows he can trust him to deliver and perform right away.
Multiple outlets are reporting that West Brom striker Salomon Rondon has agreed to join Newcastle United on loan.
Rondon, 28, was a star for West Brom in their relegation campaign in 2017/18 as he fed off scraps and still managed to score 10 goals in all competitions for the Baggies. Since his move from Zenit in 2016, Rondon has scored 28 goals in 119 appearances in all competition for West Brom. That’s hardly prolific but he has impressed with his hold-up play, pace in-behind to stretch defenses and his tireless workrate.
The Venezuelan international is said to have a release clause of just $20 million but it appears Rafael Benitez and the Magpies are keen to “try before they buy” after having their fingers burned by bringing in striker Islam Slimani on loan from Leicester City last January only for the Algerian star to sit in the treatment room for the vast majority of his time on Tyneside.
Rondon would be a magnificent addition to Benitez’s squad as their current batch of strikers includes Ayoze Perez, Joselu and new signing Yoshinori Muto. Rondon’s physical presence would allow him to lead the line with Perez and others buzzing around underneath him.
The Magpies also look to be readying themselves for the move as Adam Armstrong has been sold to Blackburn Rovers and Dwight Gayle is said to be heading to West Brom on loan in the opposite direction to Rondon.