Manchester United are big fans of Edmond Tapsoba but Bayer Leverkusen believe the Premier League-linked centre-half is ‘worth more’ than a supposed £40 million price-tag.

With Andre Onana, Mason Mount, Rasmus Hojlund and Sofyan Amrabat all arriving to boost Erik ten Hag’s first XI, even the most pessimistic Manchester United supporter would have to accept that the summer transfer window – on paper at least – feels like a success.

But if there is one thing preventing a ‘Grade B’ window from becoming an ‘A’ or even an ‘A-plus’, it is the arguably absence of a new, ball-playing centre-half. Harry Maguire’s aborted move to West Ham put pay to Ten Hag’s hopes of bringing in a Jean-Clair Todibo or a Benjamin Pavard, the Daily Mail reporting that Bayer Leverkusen powerhouse Edmond Taposba was another name on the Red Devils’ hitlist.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen v West Ham United - Pre-Season Friendly
Photo by Marco Steinbrenner/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Manchester United like Edmond Tapsoba

Pavard has since swapped Bayern Munich for Inter Milan. Todibo is merely enhancing his own reputation; his defence-splitting assist in Nice’s 2-0 win over Strasbourg on Sunday the sort of piercing through ball Lisandro Martinez himself would have been proud of.

As for Tapsoba, Fabrizio Romano believes that Leverkusen will be demanding a damn sight more for the rangy Burkina Faso international next summer; Tapsoba adding a few pounds to his price-tag while signing a new contract at the Bundesliga pacesetters.

“This now means that he will be more expensive if any club want to move for him in 2024. Bayer Leverkusen believe he’s top player and worth more than the reported 40 to 45 million euro fee,” Romano tells Caught Offside.

“Honestly, I can’t predict for now if Manchester United and Spurs will be back in for him. Nothing is decided now for 2024. And so we will see based on this season.”

United may prioritise a new centre-back in 2024

In truth, a new centre-half still feels like a matter of time at Old Trafford; aborted moves for Pavard, Todibo and Tapsoba merely a case of kicking the can down the road. Maguire, barring the sort of career revival not seen since Michael Keaton in Birdman, is unlikely to be part of Ten Hag’s long-term plans.

The latest in a long line of injury issues for Raphael Varane, meanwhile, could speed up United’s pursuit of a successor.