Rio Ferdinand believes Manchester United should avoid signing an established centre-back this summer due to the strength of the partnership between Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez.
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The pair have established themselves as Erik ten Hag’s first choice pairing this season, despite starting the season with Harry Maguire alongside the Argentine.
Maguire has been effectively demoted to fifth choice behind Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw, while Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe are set to be offloaded this summer.
Maguire is considering his future and Ten Hag will consider offers for him, in the knowledge that he needs to raise funds in order to complete his summer transfer overhaul.
The Dutchman is therefore keen on signing a new centre-back and United have been heavily linked with a move for Napoli star Kim Min-jae.
The South Korea international only joined the club last season but he was vital in helping them to end their 30-year wait for a league title.
A clause in Min-jae’s contract means he’s available for around £50m for a two-week period in June and United must act quickly if they’re to secure the defender.
But Ferdinand believes the Varane-Martinez partnership is too strong to have an established defender waiting in the wings behind the pair and says Ten Hag should sign a young, up-and-coming centre-back instead.
‘I think Man United’s worst period of the season apart from Brentford and Brighton has been since the two centre-backs have been out,’ Ferdinand told FIVE.
‘That’s where they have looked most vulnerable. They have lost control in games and that comes from Martinez, who has control and assuredness in possession.
‘I think the partnership he has started to form with Varane, has started to look like a very solid partnership.
‘I don’t think he needs to look for a number-one centre-back right now. I’d look for a young one coming through to groom, that’s what I’d go for.
‘I don’t think the priority is to sign a centre-back. The priority is to keep them fit. I would go out and try and sign the best young centre half.’
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