Man United transfer gossip: Fabrizio Romano delivers centre-back search update

Juventus defender Cristian Romero in action for Atalanta amid reported interest from Manchester United

According to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, Manchester United are interested in Juventus defender Cristian Romero.

What is the latest transfer news involving Cristian Romero?

Based on tweets from Romano, Man United have scouted Juventus’ Romero who has spent the Serie A season on loan at Atalanta.

They are interested in the 23-year-old, however he is not the main target for the Red Devils.

Romano added that Atalanta are, “convinced to trigger the buy option to sign Cristian Romero from Juventus for €16m (£13.8m)”. This could mean United need to act fast if they want to get a deal for the Argentine over the line.

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Who else did Fabrizio Romano say United were interested in? 

Romano also mentioned that Lille defender Sven Botman has been scouted by Manchester United, however he is not the main option on United’s list of centre-back targets.

According to Sky Sports, as well as Romero and Botman, Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde is  high on a list of potential partners for Harry Maguire.

Fabrizio Romano Manchester United transfer update tweet

How do Botman and Romero compare this season?

Based on WhoScored statistics, Romero has been in fine form for Atalanta in Serie A, recording an overall rating of 7.15 which ranks him fifth in the squad.

The Argentine has been mightily impressive at the heart of Atalanta’s defence. He has produced 2.1 tackles per game, made the most interceptions in the squad (3.1) and he has also showcased his talents on the ball with 86.1% passing accuracy.

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In comparison, Lille’s Botman has made just 0.8 tackles and 1.6 interceptions per game, with an overall rating of 7.01 in Ligue 1. He slightly edges Botman in the passing department though, with an 86.7% pass success rate.

But with the Dutchman just 21 years of age, both are very much up-and-coming centre-backs who appear to have bright futures ahead of them.

Why do United need to sign a centre-back this summer?

Maguire has been absent from United’s side after sustaining ankle ligament damage against Aston Villa and is subsequently unlikely to play again in the Premier League this season. He reportedly faces a race against time to be fit for the Red Devils’ Europa League final against Villarreal. 

Since his exclusion from the side, United have lost back-to-back Premier League games against Leicester and Liverpool. Maguire has been sorely missed with United conceding six times in his absence. 

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In trying to fill the void, Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof struggled, and a new centre-back should be the club’s top priority this summer.

According to WhoScored,Bailly was United’s second lowest rated player (5.79) against Liverpool and alongside a yellow card, he also made zero tackles and interceptions.

His defensive partner Lindelof also failed to impress having made just one tackle and interception against United’s bitter rivals, and he only achieved a rating of 6.11.

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