Earlier this week, it was reported that Jose Mourinho has assembled a list featuring five centre-backs he would attempt to sign if he becomes the new manager of Manchester United this summer.
One name that didn’t feature on the five-man shortlist was West Ham’s Angelo Ogbonna; however, United have identified the 27-year-old as a potential summer signing, according to The Times.
But it’s not just the Red Devils who are keen on the Italy international. Pep Guardiola could also give Manchester City the green light to make a move for the former Juventus central defender.
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The report claims that both United and City have been impressed by Ogbonna’s pace and physicality, while the fact he can also play at left-back has potentially made him even more desirable for the two Manchester clubs.
West Ham, though, will be determined to hold onto the defender who initially struggled at Upton Park following his £8 million move from Turin last summer.
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Ogbonna is a key player for West Ham
Hammers fans will remember Ogbonna being substituted by manager Slaven Bilic after just 35 minutes of August’s 4-3 home defeat to Bournemouth.
The centre-back then missed most of September and October with a hamstring injury but has not looked back since winning back his place in West Ham’s starting line-up in November.
Ogbonna is now one of the first names on Bilic’s team-sheet and it seems his performances have not gone unnoticed by English football’s biggest clubs.
According to WhoScored, Ogbonna has been the fifth-best player in the West Ham squad this season after Manuel Lanzini, Winston Reid, Cheikou Kouyate and Dimitri Payet.
United need a centre-back more than City
Of the two Manchester clubs, it’s United who are in dire need of defensive reinforcements.
Chris Smalling has developed into a top centre-back over the past 18 months, but Phil Jones is injury-prone and inconsistent when fit, Paddy McNair is still learning his trade, Daley Blind is only a makeshift central defender and the same could be said of left-back Marcos Rojo.
That Louis van Gaal has been forced to deploy Michael Carrick at the heart of United’s defence in recent matches is a clear sign that at least one more centre-back is required at Old Trafford this summer.
Manchester City still have Vincent Kompany - one of the best central defenders in world football - while Guardiola might fancy his chances of bringing the best out of both Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala when he takes over at the Etihad Stadium this summer.
Would Angelo Ogbonna be a decent signing for Manchester United? Tell us what you think by leaving a comment below.