Winston Reid has Manchester United and Arsenal waiting on baited breath, after stalling over a new contract offer from West Ham.
According to the Daily Express the New Zealand star has thus far been reluctant to put pen to paper on a deal that could be worth as much as £75,000-a-week and run for six years, leaving the Premier League’s biggest clubs circling in anticipation.
Reid has been in fine form during Sam Allardyce’s side’s unusually good start to the season, and due to the fact that his contract runs out next summer he’s become one of the most sought-after prospects in the market.
Arsenal and United interest
Indeed the lack of strong defensive figures present at both Old Trafford and the Emirates Stadium has seen Louis van Gaal and Arsene Wenger linked with moves for him more than once since the summer transfer window, and if West Ham aren’t able to resolve his contract issues soon then they risk losing him to a bigger club in the very near future.
It’s no coincidence that United and Arsenal are said to be preparing to recruit new centre-backs at the beginning of the New Year, and Reid, with his abundance of experience in England’s top flight, is a better candidate than many of the other targets the clubs have been linked with.
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Whilst Arsenal can boast a relatively assured pairing of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny on a good day, with the promising Calum Chambers in reserve, United aren’t nearly as lucky, and they’re current deficiencies at the heart of the defence could see youngster Paddy McNair partnered with midfielder Michael Carrick when they take on Crystal Palace this weekend.
Following the injury sustained by summer signing Marcos Rojo and the sending off of Chris Smalling, Van Gaal is now without virtually all of his first-choice centre-backs, and even when they are fit there’s still plenty who would like to see another man purchased before too long.
The Red Devils have looked incredibly shaky at the back this term and, whilst they’ve been bailed out a number of times by their richly-assembled attacking unit, they can’t hope to qualify for the Champions League with a defence as porous as they have.
Reid might not be as reputable as Mats Hummels, but he’s a far cheaper alternative and has already proved himself capable of bossing the majority of forwards in the Premier League.