It’s no secret that Manchester United are after defensive reinforcements in the coming transfer window, but there’s one potential centre-back target who Louis van Gaal should be prioritising above the rest.
Fabian Schar, 22, has been starring in both the Swiss Super League and Europe with FC Basel for the past two seasons, with his impressive performances attracting the interest of a host of top European clubs.
The likes of Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan and Tottenham Hotspur have all been linked to his signature since the summer, before a standout showing in the recent 1-0 upset Champions League win over Group B rivals Liverpool thrust his name further into the spotlight.
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Schar’s transformation into one of the Swiss football’s most touted assets has been a somewhat meteoric one, having trained for a backup career as a banker while toiling in the second-tier with childhood club FC Wil, until sealing a breakthrough move to Basel in the summer of 2012.
Going on to make his Switzerland debut last August under Ottmar Hitzfeld, before making two starts at the World Cup in Brazil, the eight-times capped international has since established himself as one of the first names on the teamsheet, even grabbing three goals in the process with his noted aerial prowess from set pieces.
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Having entered the final season of his contract, Basel are in the midst of attempting to negotiate a new deal with their star man but, with talks stalling, the danger of losing him for nothing in the summer could force the club to entertain offers once the next window opens.
With a reported £10 million asking price, Schar would pose a much cheaper option than £32 million-rated Mats Hummels, who remains content with life at Borussia Dortmund, while his still-untapped potential also makes him the higher upside acquisition over Aston Villa veteran Ron Vlaar.
Comfortable on the ball, Schar fits the exact profile of what Van Gaal looks for in his central defenders and, with United mentioned in passing as a potential destination in recent weeks, one would hope that the Dutchman has a bid prepared in a few months’ time.