Manchester United target Eliaquim Mangala is wanted by Barcelona to replace long-time club servant Carles Puyol in the heart of their defence.
According to Portuguese newspaper A Bola, Mangala is one of three names on a defensive shortlist for the Catalan giants, which also includes Mats Hummels and Chelsea’s David Luiz. Said to have a release clause of around €50million, the young Porto centre-back will not come cheap. However, having impressed greatly at his current club, as well as being a fully fledged France international, many of Europe’s giants are considering moves for him nonetheless.
Such a situation is unlikely to be favourable towards United, who are looking like they may not qualify for next season Champions League. Regardless, David Moyes is determined to find a centre-back of his own to fill the void which will be left when Nemanja Vidic moves to Inter Milan, and Mangala was touted as being one of the top candidates.
With plenty of money to play with during the next transfer window, Moyes will ideally be aiming to bring in a defender who has both pedigree and a commanding presence to organise his back line. Whilst the French starlet is lacking the first, he is a towering figure in defence, and the fact that he has plenty of years to offer makes him a suitable option.
What's more, United will be unwilling to let Mangala join Barcelona without a fight, as another transfer knock-back could well be the final straw for fans where Moyes is concerned. If they’re not competing in Europe’s elite competition however, it may well come down to how high Mangala’s own ambitions are, not how much money he can be offered.