The 2018 FIFA World Cup has entered into a two-day hiatus. That break should allow us to concentrate on what we enjoy the most: talking about Manchester United. Especially now that the transfer window is open for clubs all over Europe.
With that in mind, we could take a look at what Manchester United are trying to do on the market. The need for an upgrade on the defensive end of the pitch has been clear since several months ago, and it seems The Red Devils are looking to do exactly what. Especially knowing that the future of several first-team elements, such as Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian, remains up in the air. Either way, the team needs defensive reinforcements. And the sooner they can get them, the better.
Several names have been linked with a move to Old Trafford, from Kalidou Koulibaly and Harry Maguire to Leonardo Bonucci. But recent reports have indicated that another AC Milan defender could be the one making the jump to Old Trafford. We are talking about Alessio Romagnoli.
According to a report from Italian outlet Il Corriere dello Sport, United have turned their attention to Romagnoli as they try to bolster their defensive corps ahead of the 2018/19 season. The Italy international would represent an upgrade over the current in-house options such as Phil Jones and Chris Smalling. And given the fact he is only 23 years old, he has several years before hitting his prime. He could become Eric Bailly’s long-term partner at centre-back since both are quite young.
A young, but experienced player with room to grow
Despite his age, Romagnoli has a lot of experience under his belt. He spent the first three years of his career at Roma before making the jump to AC Milan, where he has logged over 100 appearances thus far. He was a regular starter for the Rossonero side last season, often partnering with Bonucci at the back and registering 42 appearances across all competitions. As if that wasn’t enough, his ability to play on multiple position – he can be a left-back too – could be worthwile in case United ends up parting ways with Blind or Luke Shaw, two other players that can handle that role.
Another thing that could boost Romagnoli’s chances to arrive at Old Trafford is Milan’s current situation. The Serie A giants recently received a two-season European ban, so they won’t participate in the UEFA Europa League next season. That could force some players to leave the side in order to gain more European experience. And Romagnoli would be one of the first players that top teams should be asking for.
Manchester United could be willing to pay €50 million to bring him to Old Trafford. He might not be a world-class player (yet!), but he would certainly represent an upgrade on defence. And based on where things stand right now, he might end up being a signing for both the present and the future of the club. By all accounts, signing him would be an excellent move. Especially since he could be on the verge of becoming a far more expensive player sooner than later.