Manchester United have made enquiries for defender Mohamed Salisu, according to Spanish newspaper AS.
United are said to be battling Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid for the talented centre-back.
So who is Salisu and what do we need to know about him? Here is a look at five facts about the in-demand talent…
- Salisu plays for Real Valladolid. They are 15th in La Liga, but have conceded three fewer goals than Barcelona. He has started 22 of 23 games this season.
- SkySports report Salisu has a £10.2 million release clause in his contract (12m euros).
- Salisu only made his La Liga team debut for Valladolid back in August, after previously impressing for their B team. He is just 20-years-old.
- His form saw him called up into Ghana’s international squad in October. He is expected to feature for them in the 2021 African Cup of Nations.
- Salisu says he idolises and wants to emulate Sergio Ramos and Samuel Umtiti. [GhanaSportsOnline reported]. He ranks seventh in La Liga for most blocked shots.
What they say about him
African Football Talent Academy chief Fran Castano, who discovered Salisu, spoke to Football Ghana about him last year.
He said: “What surprises me most about him is that he always needs challenges to grow, and until now, he has always overcome. He is not afraid of the challenge, for that reason, he will not stop making the leap.”
Quizzed about potentially losing Salisu in last month’s transfer window, Valladolid boss Sergio Gonzalez told Diario: “It would be a big and unexpected blow.”
The obvious aspect of a move for Salisu is the price. At just £10.2 million he would be a bargain.
It’s fair to question though if a move to United would come too soon for the centre-back, in just his first full season.
United are not short of options in defence, and really if the club are going to add a new centre-back, it should be a more proven option.
Axel Tuanzebe, Eric Bailly and longer term, Teden Mengi could all still have a say in the future of United’s backline.
Salisu might be a gamble worth taking, but that’s what it is, a gamble, even if at the price it’s very low risk.
United might be better off paying £50 million for Dayot Upamecano who is the same age and has Champions League experience and is thriving at the top of the Bundesliga for Leipzig.
Of course if he goes onto excel for Real or Atletico, not moving for Salisu at this price could end up being a decision which United regret.
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