Manchester United have made it clear that one of their transfer priorities is to sign a centre-back in the summer.
It is no surprise, then, that the Red Devils have consequently been linked with a number of Europe’s most promising centre-backs – the latest name in the frame being AS Roma’s Gianluca Mancini.
According to the Daily Express, Manchester United and Premier League rivals Chelsea are interested in making a move for the 24-year-old – and the Italian would be the perfect partner for current United defender Harry Maguire at Old Trafford.
Mancini has certainly had a stark rise in Italian football in recent seasons. Starting his career at Fiorentina, he has also represented Perugia and Atalanta before earning his big move to the Stadio Olimpico. That should stand him in excellent stead should a move to Manchester come to fruition.
Since his arrival in the Italian capital, he has played a key role in their 2020/21 season under Paulo Fonseca, making 23 appearances in Serie A and scoring four goals, as well as keeping seven clean sheets.
When looking at his personal statistics, Mancini seems even more impressive. According to WhoScored, the £22.5m-rated defender is averaging 6.3 defensive contributions per match in all competitions this season – 1.7 tackles, 2.1 interceptions, 2.1 clearances and 0.4 blocks.
This ranks the Italian higher than current Red Devils defender and the man he would likely replace in the starting lineup, Victor Lindelof, who only averages 5.7 defensive interventions per match. His numbers are also just marginally lower than the statistics racked up by Harry Maguire and Eric Bailly this season; 6.8 and 6.4 respectively.
Should Ole Gunnaer Solskjaer elect to bring in a centre-back during the upcoming summer transfer window, the evidence all points to that man being Mancini, a move the club should very much pursue.
In more news, read how instead of signing a centre-back, the Red Devils could potentially turn their attentions to one of their youth options at Old Trafford…