Manchester United have joined the race for Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell and are in pole position to sign him, reports claim.
Chelsea were believed to be close to a £60 million deal for the 23-year-old, but The Sun’s Neil Custis claims that both Manchester clubs have thrown their hats into the ring, with United ‘moving into pole position’, although the reporter does not explain why he believes that to be the case.
‘The Leicester left-back has emerged as a major transfer target for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this summer as the Red Devils boss builds a side to challenge for the title next season,’ the reporter claims.
‘And the move will cast doubt over the future of Chilwell’s England team-mate Luke Shaw.’
If true, the news represents a massive shift in transfer strategy for the Red Devils this summer, as they were believed to be prioritising a right winger and a defensive midfielder, with a centre forward as third priority.
And whilst there may indeed be doubts at Old Trafford over Luke Shaw, who has never totally regained the form he showed before his awful leg break against PSV Eindhoven in 2015, Brandon Williams has had a magnificent breakthrough season as his understudy and provides an excellent alternative.
Custis is not the most reliable of sources, it must be said – although a broken clock is right twice a day and his claims about City also joining the hunt for Chilwell seems plausible, given Benjamin Mendy’s fitness and form issues.
As for United, recent performances certainly do suggest that a rethink in priorities may be in order. Paul Pogba looks like staying, Mason Greenwood has nailed down the right wing berth and Anthony Martial’s form has been superb.
So although some good backups in the forward positions are definitely needed, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is sure to be revisiting the question of whether expensive options such as Jack Grealish and Jadon Sancho are the best use of the transfer kitty or whether strengthening the defence should take the bulk of the budget.
Chilwell would certainly appear to be an upgrade in the left back role and fits the profile of a Solskjaer player, being young, English, hard working and talented.