Manchester United have obvious alternative to £100m transfer target
Man Utd are keen to strengthen defensively this summer and a Premier League rival could hold the key to success.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows he needs to do two things this summer if he is to have any chance of transforming Manchester United into genuine Premier League title challengers.
The first of those is well underway with player recruitment a priority as Solskjaer looks to cherry pick world-class talent to fine-tune an already impressive squad.
Jadon Sancho is an official unveiling away from his United arrival, while Raphael Varane is expecting to follow suit.. It's looking like that first task will emphatically be achieved.
The second task is to develop tactically with the United manager keen to indulge in his side's immense attacking quality and play to their strengths, rather than look to protect their weaknesses.
As such the dream is to become more expansive in midfield with the desire to have one defensive-minded specialist at the base, rather than the safety net of a duo he settled upon last season.
It means there could be a minor renaissance for Serbian midfield Nemanja Matic as the expert in such a role, though it is clear further reinforcement is needed in the long-term.
Eduardo Camavinga, Saul Niguez and Leon Goretzka have all been linked this week with filling such a void - though perhaps the answer should come from a little closer to home.
Declan Rice is viewed by many as the dream option, though valued at £100m he is simply not attainable this summer, but Leicester star Wilfred Ndidi could be.
Ndidi, 24, is one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League on his day and has proven experience in the role which United require strengthening.
Success in the FA Cup last season will have only whetted the appetite for further silverware in his career and it looks like a move to Old Trafford could be the best bet for him to do that next season. Having agonisingly missed out on Champions League qualification for the second successive season the Nigeria international might also be tempted to look elsewhere this summer if an offer were to come in.
Leicester are under no financial pressure to sell Ndidi, though they do have a recent track record for allowing key players to leave in the summer if high fees are paid. N'Golo Kante signed for Chelsea for £32m in 2016, Riyad Mahrez joined City for £60m in 2018 and Harry Maguire moved to United for £80m two summers ago.
With such a precedent for selling in recent years there is belief a team could lure Ndidi away from the King Power this summer, though any move to Old Trafford would likely be on the proviso of player sales first.
Even so it seems certain Ndidi would be available for far less than Rice and there is argument to suggest he fulfils United's needs better than the West Ham man does.
Sancho and Varane would add clear world-class talent to an already impressive squad, but Leicester star Ndidi might well be the final piece of the jigsaw.