Are Manchester United about to sign the wrong left-back?

Fabio Coentrao

Fabio Coentrao should be the man Manchester United are focusing on, not Luke Shaw.

The Guardian ran a report last night, which suggested that Manchester United are favourites to seal a £30 million deal for highly rated Southampton teenager Luke Shaw.

“Manchester United are convinced a £30m deal to buy Luke Shaw on a £100,000 a-week salary is virtually complete in what is viewed as a major coup over,” reads the report.

“The £100,000 a-week, five-year contract, on offer to Shaw is far greater than Chelsea are willing to pay and they have decided to pull out.”

However, the report was published after Fabio Coentrao had a decent game against Bayern Munich for Real Madrid, suggesting United are about to make the wrong left-back signing to replace Patrice Evra in the long term.

Coentrao’s stats from the game last night were impressive, which is noteworthy considering how much of the game Bayern Munich had in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final.

Coentrao’s passing was crisp throughout the game and he managed more key passes than any other Real Madrid player.

He also had a passing accuracy of 75%, not the highest in the side, but the same as Cristiano Ronaldo, widely regarded as one of the most intelligent passing players in global football.

Coentrao also won more aerial duels than any other Real Madrid player, which suggests he has an exterior well suited to Premier League football.

His positional sense also appeared to be spot on last night, with only Sergio Ramos (4) making more blocks than the Portuguese star during the course of the game as Real Madrid worked hard to protect their lead, created through Karim Benzema’s early effort.

The 26-year-old very nearly joined United last summer and he remains a decent option, arguably better than he was the last time the club tried to get their hands on him.

While the Guardian’s report suggests David Moyes put the framework in place for a Luke Shaw transfer before he was sacked, should the deal fall apart under a new boss, there is a top quality alternative United can focus on.

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