The Manchester United fans in the Transfer Tavern are hoping to see a new right-back arrive at Old Trafford this summer, and recent reports suggest their wish will be fulfilled during the upcoming transfer window.
The resident Red Devils lining up our bar have been waxing lyrical about the performances of Antonio Valencia this season, but they are concerned about the club’s over reliance on the Ecuadorian international at right-back. Jose Mourinho also has Matteo Darmian to utilise, but it seems certain that the Italian will depart Old Trafford this summer after falling massively out of favour at the club.
With that to consider, United will need to sign a new right-back this summer who has both the ability to challenge Valenica for a starting berth in the short-term and ultimately replace him in the long-term. According to The Manchester Evening News, United have identified Cedric Soares of relegation-threatened Southampton as a player who could potentially replace Valencia.
Cedric has been in decent form for the Saints since he signed from Sporting Lisbon in the summer of 2015, but if United want to bridge the gulf in class between themselves and their local-rivals Manchester City next season they will need to target players of a higher calibre. Although it’s certainly not a deal which Liverpool would be best pleased about concluding, United should target Nathaniel Clyne (valued at £18 million by Transfermarkt) this summer if they wish to effectively replace Valencia.
Clyne has spent almost the entirety of the current campaign on the sideline with a troublesome back injury and looks set to struggle to regain his place in the first-team amidst competition from the mightily impressive Trent Alexander-Arnold. The 19-year-old has cemented his place in Klopp’s first-team plans with a string of fine performances in recent months, most notably in Liverpool’s mesmerising triumph over Manchester City in the quarter-final of the Champions League.
Clyne will certainly be up for the fight at Anfield, but if United come calling for his signature he will undoubtedly be tempted by a new challenge and the promise of replacing Valencia in the long-term. The 27-year-old England international is certainly one of the best right-backs in the Premier League when fit, so one unfortunate injury-hit season should not deter United from making a bid for his services this summer.
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