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Manchester United ‘enter the race for £52m-rated defender with Real Madrid and Barcelona also interested’

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Manchester United ‘are ready to step up efforts to sign Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar’ with the Italian club wanting £52.5million for the Slovakian.

Inter are willing to let Skriniar leave this summer and United are keen to strengthen their defence and find a reliable centre-half partner for Harry Maguire.

But, according to the Sunday Mirror, they could face competition from Real Madrid for the 25-year-old, who has enjoyed an impressive season at the San Siro.

Barcelona have also been linked with the player but Manchester City decided against making a move for Skriniar, valued at £52.5m by Inter. No club has indicated a willingness so far to pay more than £40m.

Given the teams also reportedly interested in Skriniar, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team may have to qualify for next season’s Champions League to tempt the Slovakian to Manchester.

Skriniar, capped 31 times by his country, has asserted himself at the heart of Inter’s back line over the past three seasons after joining from Sampdoria for £30m in July 2017.

Victor Lindelof has been Maguire’s most regular partner at centre-back for United but there are still some doubts about the Swede.

Other options include Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and youngster Axel Tuanzebe but it remains an area United may wish to strengthen this summer.

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