Fabrizio Romano has claimed that Manchester United are interested in Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard, as Harry Maguire closes in on a United departure.

According to a Tweet from the Italian journalist, United have Pavard, Jean-Clair Todibo and Bayer Leverkusen’s Edmond Tapsoba on their list of centre-back targets.

Maguire is set to depart United to West Ham and Pavard, from Bayern, is reportedly a strong target.

Todibo is also on the list, but Pavard is a target that provides intrigue due to a multitude of reasons.

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Pavard is a versatile defender

Florian Plettenberg, on Twitter, has stated that United and Pavard are in discussions with Erik ten Hag’s side pushing for a verbal agreement on the defender’s contract.

This is a bizarre twist after a report from the Daily Mail yesterday claimed that United are in talks with Aaron Wan-Bissaka over a new contract after the full-back impressed ten Hag during the latter stages of last season.

Pavard can play at right-back as well as centre-back and this versatility is what ten Hag seemingly likes according to Plettenberg.

Manchester City have been interested in Pavard in the past, according to The Guardian, but it seems the Red Devils are at the front of the queue for the defender’s signature.

Would Pavard be a good fit

The French defender hasn’t really kicked on at Bayern under Thomas Tuchel and may well be open to a move.

The defender excels in progressive passing (7.62 per 90 minutes) and progressive carries (1.35 per 90) according to FBREF, there’s no question he’s a superb modern-day defender.

Whether he would work alongside Lisandro Martinez remains to be seen. The French defender is on the short side for a centre-back at 5″11, so that will need to be factored in.

Where Pavard may well be utilised is at right-back. Ten Hag may adopt City’s and Arsenal’s decision to play a centre-back at right-back, this could work very well.

Pavard’s technical ability makes him a superb option, similar to Timber last summer who can also play centre-back and right-back.

Pavard may well be brought in as Varane’s cover and also as a starting right-back, killing two birds with one stone, so to speak.

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