Barcelona reportedly have ‘no intention’ of bringing in a new right-back this summer in what could be a boost for Manchester United in pursuit of the Premier League-linked Benjamin Pavard and Amar Dedic.
Remember when United limped on for what felt like eons without an orthodox right-back? Much to the bemusement of many Old Trafford regulars. Antonio Valencia’s rather forced transformation from rampaging winger to ageing full-back the footballing equivalent of slapping a sticking plaster on a broken leg?
Well, reports from Marca suggesting that La Liga leaders Barcelona have shelved plans to sign a new right-sided defender may incur a similarly frustrated reaction from the Blaugrana fanbase.
Sergi Roberto is 31. Sergino Dest is clearly not at the required level. Both Ronald Araujo and Jules Kounde, meanwhile, are far more comfortable in the centre. And the less said about Hector Bellerin the better.
But, with another summer of cost-cutting on the way at the Camp Nou, it seems that Barcelona are saving whatever funds they do have for other areas of Xavi’s squad. This could play into the hands of a Manchester United side who recently knocked Barca out of the Europa League.
Will Bayern Munich’s Benjamin Pavard end up at Manchester United?
United, The Athletic say, are in talks with Bayern Munich’s Benjamin Pavard. The World Cup-winning France international is a defender renowned for thumping long-range finishes. Argentina and Republic of Ireland supporters will tell you that. He has seven goals for club and country in 2022/23.
But his eye for the spectacular is not the only thing Pavard brings to the table.
Like Casemiro and Lisandro Martinez, he would arrive with an enviable collection of silverware. Including three Bundesliga titles at Bayern, Pavard has claimed 13 trophies during his senior career. The 27-year-old is also highly versatile, capable of thriving as both a right-back and a centre-half.
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Diogo Dalot remains out of form, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s future still uncertain. As such, 90Min believe that Man United also have their sights fixed on Red Bull Salzburg’s latest fresh-faced whizzkid. Bosnian starlet Amar Dedic is young, attack-minded, technically-gifted and well-suited to Ten Hag’s system.
But if Marca are right, that Barca will not be signing a new right-back this summer, Manchester United could have a clearer run at two potential targets than they may otherwise have expected.
“(Pavard) will be one of the best transfers we’ve ever made,” Bayern legend Uli Hoeness told Sport1 in 2018.
“It was clear to me that he could be an outstanding signing. Particularly because of his great character.”
Pavard might not have reached those sky-high expectations. But, with his contract running down and reportedly valued at just £25 million, a player of his vast experience, tactical flexibility and title-winning nous could prove to be an excellent addition on and off the pitch (Sport1).