Manchester United have sent scouts to France to run the rule over two young defenders Angelo Fulgini and Dayot Upamecano, reports The Mirror.
The duo are both impressing with Valenciennes and have attracted interest from Barcelona and Arsenal respectively. Fulgini, 18, has represented France at Under-19 level while Upamecano, 16, has made three appearances for France Under-17s this season.
Fulgini is primarily a full-back while Upamecano has been plying his early trade as a central-defender. Both are seen as long-term prospects for Louis van Gaal's men and a double summer bid is very much possible.
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Manchester United are believed to have come within hours of completing a deal for Upamecano in the January transfer window with Valenciennes confirming on their official Twitter account that a fee had been agreed.
However, the transfer collapsed and now Arsenal are ready to compete with them in the summer. Arsene Wenger was reportedly ready to pay over the odds to fast track a deal before the window opens.
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But Manchester United are set to give the Gunners a run for their money and having handed debuts to Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair this season, Van Gaal will be confident of convincing the pair to reject other suitors.
The Red Devils have struggled for consistency at the back this season with Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Marcos Rojo all spending significant time in the treatment room. To add insult to injury, Chris Smalling and Rafael have been far from impressive.
It would be a shock if Van Gaal did not use some of his £150 million transfer budget to sign a world-class centre-back and a full-back of similar ability. Upamecano and Fulgini are a long way away from that level, but are deemed to be two of the most promising youngsters in France.
Bad for the system
The same report claims former Nottingham Forest midfielder David Friio tipped Manchester United off about Upamecano, leading to their failed transfer move in January. It is conceivable that Fulgini was discovered while scouts were watching his younger team-mate.
It is important to keep youth team players coming through the system, but fans would prefer to see local boys given the best chance of developing. Nicking the best talent from around Europe has a small chance of benefitting the first team, but is almost certain to stop a young Mancunian from making his way through to the ranks.
Do Manchester United fans want to see more English people in their team or are they happy for their team to be full of foreign talent. Or do you not care, as long as the trophies roll in? Give us your views in the comments box below!
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