Ghanaian defender Mohammed Salisu, who turns out for Spanish side Real Valladolid, may be available for Manchester United at a cut price.
The 21-year-old, who has had an outstanding season in La Liga, is managed by Juan Mata’s dad, who seemingly has good relations with Old Trafford chiefs.
“Salisu is another very young African discovery. This year he has been a sensation in La Liga because at only 20 years old, 1.90m, left-footed, and playing centre back in this division is not easy,” Mata Sr told a Spanish publication.
He believes the next transfer window, whose dates are yet to be announced because of the coronavirus disruptions, “may be his window to leave” with interest from a number of clubs across Europe.
The Ghanaian ranks highly among La Liga defenders for duels won and is credited for imposing himself well on opposition attackers. Salisu shows up well; he makes on average five clearances per game.
He could be a smart addition because his release clause is understood to be set at just above £10 million (R236 million). According to reports in Spain, Atletico Madrid lead the race to sign the young defender.
His contract with Valladolid runs until 2022 having been penned back in May, while he is yet to be capped for the Ghanaian national team.
Valladolid’s sporting director, Miguel Angel Gomez, recently revealed they signed him at a fee of €50,000 (R1 million). He also confirmed that Salisu was attracting interest from across Europe.
“He’s a pure talent. It’s normal that there are so many people following him because he has a lot of potential,” Gomez said.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer signed Harry Maguire for £80 million (R1.9 billion) from Leicester at the start of the season, but his defence partner, Victor Lindelof, has been inconsistent this season.
Solskjaer may still be looking for the right defence partner for the club’s captain, Maguire.
Everton, Newcastle and Norwich City are three other English clubs who have been linked to Salisu, who debuted for Valladolid this season after replacing Fernando Calero, who was sold to Espanyol last summer.
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By Mthokozisi Dube