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Manchester United are on the lookout for a new central defender this summer and with the transfer window fast approaching, they have been linked to quite a few players. Until now, the likes of Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane and Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti are understood to be prime targets. Neither of these two players will come cheap but Jose Mourinho is understandably determined to boost his defensive forces ahead of the next campaign.
With the club yet to extend Marcos Rojo’s deal and Matteo Darmian attracting attention from Juventus, United will be left with the likes of Phil Jones, Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof. That might seem like plenty of options but with Jones’ and Bailly’s tendencies to pick up injuries and Lindelof’s lacklustre displays, the Red Devils could use a new centre-back over the summer. But who should it be – the Real Madrid sensation or the Barcelona beast?
Let’s have a look at both their stats and compare them.
Varane has appeared 25 times across competitions for Los Blancos this season, during the course of which he provided a solitary assist. He has 2 yellow cards to his name and boasts of a pass success rate of 90.8%. He wins an average of 1.5 aerial duels per game and in addition to that, the 24-year-old averages 0.9 tackles, 1.3 interceptions, 4.4 clearances and 0.5 blocks in every match.
Umtiti, on the other hand, has featured 28 times for Barcelona this season and has picked up a whopping 6 yellow cards in the process. His pass success rate stands at a solid 91.9% and he wins about 1.8 aerial duels on an average. Besides that, Umtiti makes an average of 1.8 tackles, 1.8 interceptions, 2.5 clearances and 0.6 blocks per game.
As one can see, Umtiti’s numbers look better in a few areas while Varane has beaten him in certain aspects. Most notably, the Real Madrid man seems to be more disciplined and that could be a major deciding factor for Mourinho. Besides that, both these players seem to have similar stats, meaning either of them could prove to be beneficial for the Red Devils.
As far as the price is concerned, deals for Varane and Umtiti are both expected to cost quite similarly. According to reports, United can land the former for a fee of €60m, whereas the Barcelona star is also reportedly available for the same price. Hence, it could ultimately come down to which club agrees to a deal first but that will be tough for United since both these players are quite precious for their respective clubs.