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3 centre-backs Manchester United could target in January

Toby Alderweireld is among the best centre-backs  in the Premier League
Toby Alderweireld is among the best centre-backs  in the Premier League
Uday Partap Singh
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After a tough start this season, Manchester United are currently eighth in the Premier League table, seven points behind the leaders, Manchester City. Most of their struggles are down to their defence and they conceded 14 goals in the opening eight Premier League games.

United tried to sign a centre-back in the summer transfer window. But unfortunately, they failed to finalize a deal with any of their top targets and ended up falling short in the position. Their Portuguese manager, Jose Mourinho criticized the board for not providing him with a sufficient amount of funds to spend in the last summer transfer market.

However, the January transfer window is just a few months away and the Red Devils could use this as the opportunity to strengthen their team and bring their season back on track.

Right on this note, here is a list of three centre-backs Manchester United could target in the January transfer window.


#3 Kalidou Koulibaly

Kalidou Koulibaly has all the ingredients to solve Manchester United's defensive woes.
Kalidou Koulibaly has all the ingredients to solve Manchester United's defensive woes.

The Senegalese international is presently among the best defenders in the world and he improved significantly during his time in the Serie A with Napoli.

Koulibaly is a quick, tall and strong defender, who is comfortable with the ball at his feet and has an excellent passing range too. This season, he completed 575 passes with an impressive accuracy rate of 90.3%. With 12 interceptions and 15 tackles completed in the league alone, he continues to excel as Napoli flourished under Carlo Ancelotti recently.

The 27-year-old played 133 games for the Naples, scoring 8 times. He was the part of Serie A Team of the Season in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons and also earned himself a place in the CAF Team of the Year in 2016 after his fine defensive showings.

However, he recently signed a new contract with the Italian club and the Red Devils need to dig deep into their pockets to sign the talented defender. He is also being linked with a move to Barcelona, which makes the situation more difficult for Manchester United.

#2 Jonathan Tah

Jonathan Tah is tipped as the future of German football.
Jonathan Tah is tipped as the future of German football.

The 22-year-old started his career with the Bundesliga side, Hamburg and made his senior debut as a 17-year-old. He made 16 appearances for the club before leaving the Die Rothosen (The Red Shorts) for Bayer Leverkusen in 2015.

He quickly went to work, displaying his true worth and world-class potential, before subsequently becoming an integral part of their starting line-up. His strength in the air and ability to read the game is exceptional, whilst being very comfortable with the ball at his feet for someone of his physically imposing frame.

This season, he made 0.7 tackles per game and also completed 38 clearances in the German's top-flight. The major stumbling block behind securing his services is the fact that he renewed his contract at the club last season and with a high demand of the young centre-back, the Werkself will work hard to ignore all offers.

However, if Tah makes it clear that he wants to leave for pastures new, they would naturally demand a huge fee for their prized asset.

#1 Toby Alderweireld

Tottenham Hotspur v Watford - Carabao Cup Third Round
Tottenham Hotspur v Watford - Carabao Cup Third Round

Strong, quick and an excellent reader of the game, Toby Alberweireld is among the best centre-backs in the Premier League right now and will significantly improve the Red Devils' defence.

The Belgium international joined Tottenham Hotspur from AtlΓ©tico Madrid in 2015 and is a commendable figure in Spurs' backline since then. He played all 38 league matches during his debut campaign at the club and helped them maintain the joint-best defensive record in England's top-flight.

The 29-year-old played 87 games for the Red Devils, scoring five goals. He was the part of PFA Premier League Team of the Year 2015-2016 and also won the Tottenham Player of the Season 2015-2016.

The Belgium international's current contract is set to expire in the summer of 2019 and there are reports that he is currently refusing to renew his contract. If they cannot settle on an agreement, it is likely that Tottenham will reluctantly cash in on the player during the January transfer window as opposed to letting him leave on a free transfer next year.

Edited by Sundaresh Kumar
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