Manchester United are ready to tempt Everton into selling Seamus Coleman by offering cash plus defender Jonny Evans in exchange for the 26-year-old full-back.
This is according to the Daily Star’s chief sports writer Jeremy Cross, who understands Louis van Gaal has identified Coleman as the ideal replacement for Rafael and Antonio Valencia at right-back after missing out on Dani Alves and Nathaniel Clyne.
United feel they stand a better chance of signing the £20 million-rated Republic of Ireland international by offering Evans as part of the package. The Northern Irish centre-back has now entered the final 12 months of his contract at Old Trafford but has not been offered a new deal.
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Evans has watched on as the likes of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett have all put pen-to-paper on new contracts - and must feel that his time as a Manchester United player is coming to an end.
His red card and subsequent six-match ban for spitting at Newcastle United striker Papiss Cisse - who was also banned for his part in the altercation - may have effectively ended his Manchester United career.
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United are right to sell Evans
But on the occasions Evans did play under Van Gaal last season, he failed to impress. His dismal performance in United’s humiliating 4-0 defeat to MK Dons in the Capital One Cup second round was a particular low point.
Van Gaal is likely to start the 2015-16 campaign with Jones and Smalling as his preferred centre-back pairing - although there’s still a chance that a deal could be completed for another top-class central defender, such as Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels or Valencia’s Nicolas Otamendi.
With McNair and Blackett both progressing nicely, Manchester United have enough strength in depth at centre-back to consider offloading Evans, who joined the Red Devils’ academy in 2004 before making his senior debut three years later.
Coleman's form from last season is a concern
United, however, need another right-back with Rafael expected to leave Old Trafford as early as this summer.
Valencia performed reasonably well at right-back last season, but it is not the Ecuador international’s natural position. Defensively he is likely to be exposed by top sides in the Champions League next term.
Coleman was arguably the best right-back in the Premier League during the 2013-14 campaign, but his performances dipped last season.
But it seems that has not deterred Van Gaal from making a move for the Irishman.
Manchester United fans: would Seamus Coleman be an upgrade on both Rafael and Antonio Valencia? Should Louis van Gaal get rid of Jonny Evans? Have your say in the comments below!