Manchester United trying to sign two centre backs in transfer window

Raphael Varane is Man United's principal defensive target but the club is also open to signing another centre-back.


Manchester United are considering signing two centre-backs to bolster their defence for an intended title challenge.

The Manchester Evening News revealed last week United are making progress on a deal for Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane and the club is also interested in Villarreal centre half Pau Torres.

Varane, 28, remains United's principal defensive target and the club is understood to want a second central defender signed this summer.

Villarreal are understood to be interested in potentially re-signing Eric Bailly from United and sources say there is an acceptance at the club Torres's €60million release clause could be too steep if he is to be sold this summer.

The MEN previously reported United staff considered the Europa League final to be an audition for Torres, 24, ahead of the summer window. United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised Torres' performance and he started in Spain's first two matches at the European Championship, but he has been dropped in favour of former Manchester City defender Eric Garcia.

Bailly only signed a new three-year contract with United in April but, in an interview with The Times on the eve of the Europa League final, he stressed he would still be open to leaving if his playing time was limited.

United bought Bailly, 27, from Villarreal for £30m in 2016 and Spanish sources believe the Europa League winners could be tempted into a loan or swap arrangement involving Bailly and Torres.

Axel Tuanzebe will embark on a season-long loan and teenage defender Teden Mengi is also expected to be loaned out for the whole campaign. Phil Jones is deemed surplus at United as he has not played in almost 18 months but he is still contracted to the club until 2023.

Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof are the only centre halves with secure futures at United.

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