Manchester United could well be looking to strengthen their centre-back ranks in the near future, amid reports that Erik ten Hag’s side have made contact regarding a move for Monaco’s Axel Disasi.
What’s the word?
According to the Daily Mail, the Red Devils are said to be one of a number of European clubs who are keeping tabs on the 24-year-old at present, with the Premier League giants reportedly having engaged in ‘initial negotiations’ regarding a swoop for the Frenchman.
The report suggests that the 6 foot 3 titan – whose existing deal is set to expire in 2025 – is set to leave the Ligue 1 outfit in the current window or at the end of the season, with United seemingly set to be ‘in the market’ for a central defender in the summer.
This comes amid previous claims that club captain Harry Maguire could be allowed to move on from Old Trafford when the campaign is at an end, albeit with it looking as if the Englishman will be staying put this month.
Imagine him and Martinez
Amid that uncertainty surrounding the future of Maguire – and with Raphael Varane having endured numerous injury woes during his time in Manchester – bringing Disasi into the fold could well prove an ideal long-term solution for Ten Hag in the backline.
The former Reims ace – who made the move to Stade Louis II back in the summer of 2020 – could seemingly form an immense partnership with Lisandro Martinez at centre-back, with the Argentine international currently thriving on the left side of the back two.
Should Maguire be sold this summer?
Not for me!
The World Cup winner has arguably been the club’s “player of the season” since his £57m switch from Ajax back in July – in the words of journalist Samuel Luckhurst – having averaged 1.7 tackles and 1.3 interceptions per 90 from his 15 Premier League appearances thus far.
An “animal” in defence, in the words of compatriot Emi Martinez, the 5 foot 9 machine has provided real “quality” to the Red Devils thus far, according to pundit Ian Wright, having seemingly solidified his place in the starting XI.
Partnering the 24-year-old with Disasi could well spark even greater improvement for the top-four hopefuls, with the latter man also a truly astute ball-winner as he has averaged 1.2 tackles and 2.0 interceptions per 90 from his 17 league appearances this season.
The three-cap brute would also offer a commanding and imposing presence alongside the more diminutive Martinez, with that evidenced by the fact that he has won 78% of his aerial duels so far this term, having been described as “dominant” by talent scout Jacek Kulig.
Equally, like the current United man – who ranks in the top 14% in Europe among those in his position for progressive passes – Disasi is also more than comfortable with the ball at his feet, as he ranks in the top 7% for that same metric.
Having two figures who not only relish their defensive duties but can also help to initiate attacks from deep would surely be a real bonus for Ten Hag, with the acquisition of Disasi potentially set to prove a real smart investment.