Manchester United set to miss out on Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid, two most likely alternatives

Manchester United are set to miss out on centre-back Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid.

Rudiger will become a free agent at the end of the season and plans to leave Chelsea.

The Mirror had reported United were keen on the Champions League winning German international, who was this season tracked as the Premier League’s fastest player.

Fabrizio Romano reports Rudiger has reached a verbal agreement with Real Madrid to sign on a free transfer.

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Marca had previously reported that United may look to exploit Rangnick’s ‘good relationship’ with his compatriot’s agent Sehr Senesie to engineer a deal and gain the upper hand.

But considering Rudiger is a player at the peak of his powers, United’s current mess always made Old Trafford a bit of an unlikely destination for him.

Even so, he would have been a very smart signing on a free transfer, enabling United to invest funds into other positions.

Real Madrid’s move for Rudiger is the second free agent defensive signing they have made in two seasons, following David Alaba’s signing for Bayern Munich.

Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

United’s defensive alternatives

Signing a centre-back is likely to be among new boss Erik ten Hag’s priorities, with the defence struggling this season.

United have conceded 51 goals in the league this season, compared to City who have only conceded 21.

Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

One alternative is Ajax defender Jurrien Timber, a Dutch international who is currently playing under Ten Hag. The Mirror report he is on the manager’s wishlist.

The MEN report United have reignited interest in Pau Torres, who will play a Champions League semi-final for Villarreal this week.

Former Ajax midfielder Jan van Halst meanwhile told Voetball Primeur he believes Juventus defender Matthijs De Ligt would be the ideal centre-back for United to pursue this summer.

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