Man United FC

Sky Sports: MUFC in the “race” for “complete” £26m rock, he’d be Ten Hag’s own Akanji

The Red Devils will compete for the signing of the World Cup-winning defender.

Manchester United are allegedly still interested in signing Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard, however, Erik ten Hag’s side will have to compete with Manchester City for his signature.

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What are the most recent Manchester United transfer rumors?

There has recently been widespread talk that the Red Devils are looking to offload club captain Harry Maguire ahead of next season, with Europa League winners West Ham United reportedly interested in signing the 30-year-old this summer.

In the midst of speculation about the Englishman’s departure, Sky Sports Germany writer Florian Plettenberg has verified United’s interest in Pavard as a possible successor, albeit City and Juventus are also in the hunt.

The transfer insider disclosed on Twitter: “Pavard: FC Bayern, waiting for concrete offers now!” Talks have taken place between the player’s management and Manchester City, as #Guardiola is particularly interested in Pavard. However, no agreements have been reached. At this point, the race is between #MCFC, ManUtd, and Juventus.”

According to previous rumors, the versatile ace may earn a fee of merely €30 million (£26 million) if he is transferred this summer, with the 27-year-old having entered the final year of his contract at the Allianz Arena.

How talented is Benjamin Pavard?

It is no wonder that there is such strong interest in signing the World Cup winner for a bargain price, with such versatility sure to make the former Stuttgart ace a valuable addition to Ten Hag.

The 6 foot 2 rock, who characterized himself as “more complete” than Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, may not be the most glamorous or “sexy” of names, but he might be a shrewd investment for the Old Trafford team this summer.

The hope is that Pavard can duplicate the success that another former Bundesliga player, Manuel Akanji, has had since leaving Germany for Manchester a year ago, with the Swiss international going on to win the Premier League treble last season.

Much like Pavard, the 6 foot 1 center-back – who can also play at full-back – was signed on the cheap last summer, with Pep Guardiola’s side paying just £15 million because the player had only a year left on his contract at Borussia Dortmund at the time.

As pundit Alan Hutton commented at the time, the signing appeared to be solely to improve the club’s “strength in depth,” despite Akanji going on to make 48 appearances in all competitions, simply “surpassing expectations,” according to ex-England number one, Paul Robinson.

Pavard, like the 27-year-old, has been labeled as “underrated” by Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel and might surprise a few next season if he joins Ten Hag, having shown flashes of his quality recently.

Because of his resemblance to Akanji, the Frenchman has the tools to thrive in the Premier League, with the pair both adept at playing out from the back, with the latter ranking in the top 17% of his European peers for progressive passes and the top 20% for progressive carries, while Pavard ranks in the top 1% and top 9% for those same two metrics, respectively.

While the former Dortmund star is in the top 3% for attempted passes as a measure of his desire to play forward, Pavard ranks in the top 1% for the same criteria.

As a result of Akanji’s effect at Manchester thus far, Ten Hag could land his own version of the former Basel jewel by signing another unsung Bundesliga ace this summer.


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