Manchester United appear to be making a push to sign Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard.
Now according to Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg, Pavard has a ‘verbal agreement in principle’ with Manchester United.
He claimed an opening offer from United was rejected by Bayern Munich.
Why Pavard wants to leave
Benjamin Pavard’s reasoning for wanting to leave Bayern Munich has been reported since last year. He wants a new challenge.
The Frenchman told L’Equipe last November that he was a desire for a fresh experience. He explained: “I’ve immense respect for Bayern — I’m not against discovering a new project.
“Maybe now is the time. Why not discover new country? The sporting project has to be interesting.”
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The 27-year-old is out of contract in June 2024. This would be a repeat of the Raphael Varane transfer from 2021, when United sign a 2018 World Cup winner who has won everything at club level and wants to switch countries, while the Red Devils can get a deal at a discount due to his expiring contract.
It’s not a surprise United’s opening bid has been rejected, they usually are. But it’s likely Bayern do cave in if United really push for it, to avoid losing Pavard on a free, and also recoup some cash on the huge figure they have just spent on England striker Harry Kane.
Sky also add: “Bayern Munich have known for a long time that Pavard wants to leave,” so his stance is clearly no shock.
No guarantee United sign Pavard
Despite all this, and the ‘verbal agreement’ with Pavard, this could simply be a case of United enquiring as to the defender’s interest. There are other targets in play too, including Jean-Clair Todibo.
Fabrizio Romano reported late last week that United have narrowed centre-back targets down to the pair of them. Due diligence is being done on potential deals, and finding out that the players are interested in coming, like with Pavard, is all part of it. Sky add that United have also been in contact with Todibo’s agents.
The decisive factors will be whether United can agree a fee, and for what price. It could turn out to be that a move for Todibo is more financially appealing.
Maguire situation still in play
The other aspect to all this, is the Harry Maguire sale. Sky Sports report Manchester United will not make any defensive signings until the England defender is sold.
A fee has been agreed with West Ham, but there are some issues to sort out. He has not yet been granted permission to travel to London for a medical.