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Man Utd Transfer News: Utd Eye £32m Defender & Close-In On Deal For Attacker

Transfer news: Manchester United are linked with summer moves for Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte and Benfica attacker Renato Sanches.

With the winter transfer window closed, manager’s are now looking ahead towards the summer and planning deals for next season. Today, Manchester United are linked with Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte and Benfica attacker Renato Sanches….

Man Utd eye Laporte

First up and according to the Express, Manchester United are eyeing a move for Athletic Bilbao defence Aymeric Laporte as they look to strengthen their defensive options this summer.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the future of current boss Louis van Gaal, it appears United are still planning ahead and centre-back is an area they seemingly want to strengthen at the end of the season.

The Express claim that the Red Devils have drawn up a list of potential targets with Laporte believed to be high on the agenda after continuing to impress for Bilbao in La Liga this season.

The 21-year-old is one of the most highly-rated young defenders in European football and was strongly linked with a move away from Bilbao last summer before eventually signing a new deal at the San Mames Stadium.

However, that doesn’t appear to have put off United as the Express suggest they are keen on luring Laporte to Old Trafford this summer as they regard the left-footed defender as the ideal partner for Chris Smalling.

The French under-21 international’s agent is Jorge Mendes, who is well known to United chiefs having also negotiated deals for Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao, as well as David De Gea’s recent new contract.

So it looks like Bilbao are going to face a tough task keeping hold of the youngster this summer but with the Express suggesting Laporte’s contract has a £32m buy-out clause in it, United are going to have to be prepared to pay big money if they want to land the defender.

Reds close on Sanches

Next up and the Mirror are carrying a report that claims Manchester United are also closing in on a deal to sign Benfica’s highly-rated attacker Renato Sanches this summer.

The 18-year-old has emerged as one of the most exciting young prospects in Portugal since breaking in to the Benfica first team this season having come through the clubs youth set-up.

Sanches’s potential caught the eye of some of Europe’s biggest clubs so Benfica moved to protect their investment after tying the midfielder down to a long-term contract with a buy-out worth a staggering £60m.

However, reports earlier this month suggested that United were in talks to tie-up a deal worth significantly less than his buy-out fee and now the Mirror say the Red Devils are now closing-in on his signing.

No exact figure is put forward in the report but they do note that Sanches also has Jorge Mendes as his agent, so it looks as though United and Mendes are going to be doing a lot of business this summer.

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We’ll have to wait and see how much truth there is behind this speculation but Sanches is an exciting talent who is likely to be viewed as a long term successor to Michael Carrick, with the 34-year-old tipped to leave when his contract expires in the summer.

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