Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal remains keen to sign Wolfsburg defender Ricardo Rodriguez, despite having secured the services of Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind this summer.
This is according to German magazine Kicker, who understand that Van Gaal will push hard to sign the Switzerland international either in January or next summer.
Man Utd require defensive reinforcements
It’s no secret that the Red Devils desperately require defensive reinforcements, but the 20-time English champions appear to be crying out for a new commanding centre-back, rather than another left-sided full-back.
However, that Van Gaal wants Rodriguez adds weight to former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen’s claim that the current Red Devils’ boss does not rate £27 million summer signing Shaw.
Shaw set for Man Utd debut
The England international has yet to make his competitive debut for his new employers, having missed the opening weeks of the campaign with a hamstring injury, but could make his first appearance against West Ham on Saturday.
United are facing something of an injury crisis, with all of their first-choice centre-backs - Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling - sidelined through injury, and Tyler Blackett suspended following his red card in last Sunday’s humiliating 5-3 defeat to newly-promoted Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.
This should mean that Argentina international Rojo moves to centre-back - and could partner the versatile Blind, who has played his first two matches for Manchester United in defensive midfield.
It’s possible that Van Gaal regards Rojo as more of a central defender, and Blind as more of a midfielder, in which case that would leave Shaw as his only recognised left-back.
This would make the veteran Dutch coach’s pursuit of Rodriguez, 22, more understandable.
Rodriguez: Classy left-back
There’s no denying, though, that this is a player of considerable class. Rodriguez, the current Swiss Footballer of the Year, was arguably the best left-back in the Bundesliga last season - and quite possibly the best in Europe, too.
He scored seven goals in 38 appearances for Wolfsburg last season and went on to enjoy a fine World Cup for Switzerland in Brazil.
Despite this, the majority of United supporters would prefer to see a centre-back and a new central midfielder signed in the January transfer window.
There’s excitement about the potential of Shaw, who Evans says will become the world’s best left-back, and acquiring the services of Rodriguez would indicate that Van Gaal is not convinced by the former Southampton starlet’s qualities.
A fine performance on his competitive debut against the Hammers this weekend, however, could encourage Van Gaal to think twice about his pursuit of the Swiss ace.
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