Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Glenn Hoddle has said Manchester United possess a weakness in defence and questions whether reported target Mats Hummels is the type of player they need.
New boss Louis van Gaal has been plagued with a defensive injury crisis since taking over the Red Devils, despite the summer acquisitions of Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Danny Blind.
On a number of occasions this season, United have had to rely on rookies Paddy McNair and Tyer Blackett to fill in the gaps at the back.
To the youngsters’ credit, their performances have been as good as expected and United’s league form has started to improve, winning their previous four games on the spin.
Still, should they harbour hopes of a top-four finish come next May, their defensive weaknesses need amending and Dortmund star Hummels has been tipped by many as the man for the job.
Recent reports suggested United had a £100 million budget to further strengthen their squad, and a centre-back in January – possibly Hummels - is deemed the number one priority.
Hoddle, however, believes that German international is not the man needed to lead the Old Trafford’s backline, instead pointing to a more leader-type defender in the mould of Nemanja Vidic or Diego Godin.
“I see now there are reports they plan to spend another £100 million in the transfer market. If they are to, then you would imagine that Van Gaal’s first priority would be to solidify the defence,” he wrote in his Daily Mail column.
“Mats Hummels has been mentioned but for me he is ball-playing centre-half. I really like him, but I’m not sure that he is the player United really need.
“For me, they require a stopper in the mould of Nemanja Vidic; someone whose first priority is to defend. Atletico Madrid’s Diego Godin, another name mentioned, is more suited to that role.”
Atletico Madrid’s Godin has also been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford ahead of the January transfer window.
The Uruguayan international has plenty of experience and while his qualities are undeniable, question marks remain over his age (28) and the likelihood of Atleti coach Diego Simeone selling his star defender.