Manchester United to battle City for '€100 million' Inter Milan defender
An international break means one thing: transfer rumours.
One of the biggest transfer sagas of the upcoming summer window is likely to be Manchester City's pursuit of yet another centre-back, with captain Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi nearing the end of their City careers.
Kompany, 32, continues to struggle with injuries, having gradually adopted the Ledley King role in the squad, while Otamendi is now the wrong side of 30 and has found himself behind Aymeric Laporte and John Stones in the pecking order.
Manchester United, meanwhile, are somehow still starting Chris Smalling in 2019. So, they need a new defender, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seemingly unconvinced by Eric Bailly.
And it looks as if both Manchester clubs would like to sign the same player to solve those problems, and that player is: Milan Skriniar of Inter Milan.
The Slovakian international has become one of the most wanted defenders in world football since his move to the San Siro, demonstrating the ideal combination of calmness on the ball and solidity without it that every top team requires from its central defenders.
Still only 24, he has a long, bright future ahead of him, meaning he will not leave Inter cheaply. But that has never been a problem for City in the past; the Premier League champions spent £50m on Stones and £57m on Laporte.
If they are to sign Skriniar, they will have to spend even more, with inter reportedly willing to accept a bid in the region of €100m.
Manchester United made an approach to sign him last summer, but ultimately failed to meet Inter's asking price. According to CalcioMercato, City may well front up the necessary cash to secure his signature this summer. Don't be surprised to see United start a bidding war if this is the case.
Other centre-backs will be on the market, though, with reports suggesting that Raphael Varane fancies a move away from Real Madrid having won everything there is to win during his eight years there. The 25-year-old has been a target of Manchester United for a long time and this summer could finally be the one he actually joins the Red Devils.