Manchester United have been alerted to the fact that Real Madrid may be looking to offload full-back Marcelo in the near future, as Carlo Ancelotti is mulling over a move for Bayern Munich’s David Alaba.
According to today’s edition of the Daily Express, the Red Devils are interested in the idea of purchasing Marcelo as Louis van Gaal wants to add even more options to the left-back berth at Old Trafford.
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Following a summer of heavy spending Daley Blind, Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo - all of whom can play on the left-hand side of the defence - are now United players, but Van Gaal’s appetite reportedly remains unsated.
With that in mind United are said to be the primary club ready to act on Madrid’s decision to sell Marcelo, if that is indeed the outcome they opt for. The Brazil ace has been with Los Blancos for seven years, having signed from Fluminense in 2007, and has managed to create a reputation for himself which sees him rank amongst the most talented full-backs in the world.
However simply being one of the best has never been enough for Madrid - just as Angel Di Maria - and so his position at the Santiago Bernabeu is far from secure. If the Express’s report is to be believed then Alaba is being touted as his potential replacement, with the Switzerland star having four years on his South American counterpart.
And if Pep Guardiola has but an inkling of intention with regards to letting Alaba leave then that will free up Marcelo, which could in turn gift United a player of world-class ability. Though his defending has at times been the subject of various inquisitions going forward he’s arguably the most complete full-back in the game, and his experience under high pressure would certainly benefit Van Gaal.
That being said fans will certainly question the logic of the Dutchman sanctioning a move for the 26-year-old when he already has at least three players who can perform adequately there.
Blind, Rojo and Shaw were purchased in the summer for a combined figure of around £60 million, and though injuries are ravaging Van Gaal’s squad there will come a time when all three are available for selection.
There can be cases made for Blind occupying a role in central midfield and Rojo moving to centre-back, but if Marcelo was acquired then it would certainly leave supporters speculating over the long-term future of Shaw.
The 19-year-old is a natural full-back who was magnificent for Southampton last season, and complaints would likely follow were he to be ousted without being given a fair chance.