Manchester United are reportedly plotting a bid for RB Leipzig’s versatile defender Nordi Mukiele.
What’s the word?
That is according to a report from Foot Mercato, via The Mirror, who claimed that the Red Devils have been tracking the 24-year-old for years and could finally lodge a bid for him in this summer’s transfer window.
The France international is out of contract next year and could duly be available for as little as £8.5m.
The signing would prove sensitive, as United are reportedly open to letting Aaron Wan-Bissaka leave in what appears to be a big clearout this summer at Old Trafford.
Given his Red Bull links, Ralf Rangnick is reported to be a fan of Mukiele, so a move for the 24-year-old is entirely possible.
Imagine him and Varane
The signing of Mukiele – who has been hailed as an “unsung hero” – would be a major coup for United; and at a price of around £8.5m, it could see the club turn a corner with their strategy in the transfer market. It could also form the potential for what could be a fearsome partnership between the 24-year-old and Raphael Varane.
Who’s better? Mukiele or Wan-Bissaka?
Mukiele’s versatility is a handy attribute and represents an asset that United have not had since Daley Blind was at the club, with the Frenchman also able to operate as a centre-back and a right midfielder.
Mukiele has played the majority of his games as a right midfielder or wing-back for Leipzig in Domenico Tedesco’s 3-4-2-1 system this season. Although he has a decent return of one goal and three assists in 28 appearances, the 24-year-old has been spared in Leipzig’s big games as of recent, which bodes well for United as they look to swoop in for a cut-price deal .
That defensive acumen bodes well for a team manager by Erik ten Hag side. Madueke has a match average of 5.28 pressures per 90, with 6.32 of these coming in the middle third of the pitch, a positive sign of his willingness to win back possession for his team.
His averages of 2.43 interceptions and 2.73 clearances per 90 also illustrate his competence at the back and suggest that he would function well in an asymmetrical system which would see him perform as a makeshift centre-back in possession, giving the left-back license to attack .
He has also shown his competence in attack in Leipzig’s recent game against Augsburg, in which he registered two assists.
Given such impressive performances across a variety of aspects, it’s not just because of the Red Bull connection that Rangnick would love to have Madueke at Old Trafford.
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