Manchester United could be set to stage a surprise steal for the services of Dutch defender Bruno Martins Indi, despite the fact that he is said to be close to securing a Porto switch.
According to the Daily Express, citing report in The Netherlands, the player himself has admitted that he is definitely leaving Feyenoord this summer, opening up fresh speculation that Louis van Gaal could make him a long-term replacement for either Nemanja Vidic or Rio Ferdinand. The 22-year-old didn’t enjoy the most convincing World Cup during his national side’s march to a third-placed finish, but he remains a Van Gaal favourite, and as such is hotly tipped to move to Old Trafford in a deal worth as little as £6million.
Martins Indi comments
Though the speculation over the youngster’s future has been long-running, it’s only been recently that his situation has been made perfectly clear. The centre-back confirmed to Dutch sources that he would be leaving Feyenoord in the coming weeks, but only further fuelled the gossip columns by neglecting to name where it was that he was going.
“It's true that I am leaving, but now it's Feyenoord that will have to say more about the subject,” Martins Indi said.
What it means for United
Effectively it means that the former Premier League champions have a centre-back, who Van Gaal knows well, that is ripe for the picking. Though recent rumours have persisted in suggesting that he is poised to join Portuguese giants Porto, a move to Old Trafford, and the obvious perks it would bestow upon his career, not to mention the step up in class from the Eredivisie, would surely win the day in terms of his decision.
With Vidic and Ferdinand having left Manchester for pastures new there now resides a hole in the middle of the back line that many are unconvinced any combination of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans are capable of filling. As such one of Van Gaal’s first big decisions of his United career focuses on who he can bring in to bolster his defence, with Arsenal’s Thomas Vermaelen and Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels the apparent crowd favourites.
Whilst Martins Indi may not be in the same bracket as those two just yet concerning his ability, his reputation in Holland indicates that he has excellent potential, and Van Gaal’s decision to start him in five of the six matches the national side played at the World Cup speaks volumes over where he sits in the 62-year-old’s estimations.
Martins Indi is available for as little as £6million, according to reports, and so he’s a cheaper alternative than many of the other candidates being linked with helping Van Gaal turn United’s defensive fortunes around. He may not be as experienced as some, but there’s no questioning he’d be an economically viable choice, whilst at the same time promising plenty of years thanks to his tender age.