Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has reportedly flown to Spain to finalise the transfer of Barcelona attacker Pedro Rodriguez. Meanwhile, the United supremo also used that as an opportunity to monitor Athletic Bilbao defence stalwart Aymeric Laporte who featured in the Spanish Super Cup second leg against the Catalan giants last night, as per the Daily Mail (via Squawka).
The Red Devils have clearly lost out on the signings of Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos and Valencia’s defence leader Nicolas Otamendi, with Los Blancos announcing yesterday that Ramos has penned a fresh five-year deal at the Bernabeu, while Otamendi is reportedly in Manchester to complete a move to United’s bitter rivals Manchester City. The Daily Star says a defender is a priority now, thus, the Premier League club are keeping tabs on Laporte – who has become one of the most integral players in the Athletic Bilbao squad.
Laporte is seen as one of the best young defenders in Europe, and he recently signed a new deal with Athletic which has now increase his buy-out clause to around £36.5m, so says the aforementioned source. He is now contract to the Basque side until 2019.
It appears rather preposterous that United have not gone in for the young France Under-21 defender because he is left-footed and United boss Louis van Gaal wants a left-footed left-sided centre-back, and this is evident in his deployment of compatriot Daley Blind at centre-back.
According to Squawka, Laporte made 155 clearances in La Liga last term.
Meanwhile, Pedro is expected to confirmed as a Red Devil player later today after the Premier league outfit let him play for Barcelona in the game last night.