The Red Devils are searching for a number of defensive reinforcements, and will likely be splashing the cash on some high profile targets in the summer.
Alongside a pair of central defenders, the need for a natural right-back is evident, and one of the main names linked with a switch to Old Trafford is Barcelona man Dani Alves, who is out of contract at Camp Nou in the summer. The Red Devils have opened negotiations with the Brazilian international concerning a free transfer, as per the Manchester Evening News, although Barcelona are still working hard to secure a contract extension with Alves.
With a transfer for Alves hitting delays, it appears that United are now targeting another Brazilian full-back, but one with less of a reputation. Porto right-back Danilo is a 23-year-old who has already made 125 appearances for the Portuguese club since signing from Santos in 2011. He is making a name for himself with some top-class performances at domestic and Champions League level this term, and the Mail reported on interest from Liverpool last week.
The Reds have been tracking Danilo as a long-term replacement for Glen Johnson, although it is claimed that they would struggle to secure a deal for him due to the presence of Real Madrid. The reigning European champions have started talks with Danilo’s agent, as per AS, and the player is keen on a transfer away from Porto - having refused to sign an extension to his contract that expires in the summer of 2016.
However, no club has yet to reach an agreement with Porto concerning the transfer, and a report in Portuguese media outlet A Bola suggests that United have the advantage over every other interested party - as they are willing to spend more money on him. Liverpool’s proposed offer is said to be in the region of €27 million, far off Danilo’s release clause of €50 million, and United are reportedly willing to pay that large fee fee to buy him out of his contract before any other club.
With reinforcement needed at Old Trafford, it will come as no surprise to see United spend heavily in the summer on defensive players. Although people may deride the club for overspending on unproven players, United need to shore up their back-line, and Danilo would represent a wise long-term investment.