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Man Utd eye Mohamed Simakan as Harry Maguire replacement

Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe have endured disappointing loan moves away from Man Utd this season while Harry Maguire has an uncertain future after falling down the pecking order, so Erik ten Hag could lose three centre-backs when the summer transfer window opens.

Phil Jones will leave at the end of his contract too, so Javier Parra Peña of Fichajes says Manchester United are looking for at least one centre-back who can serve as a replacement – Mohamed Simakan, who has also been linked with Arsenal.

The 23-year-old joined RB Leipzig from Racing Strasbourg in 2021 and has gone on to make 76 appearances in all competitions, scoring four goals with nine assists. He has four years remaining on his deal at the Red Bull Arena but could be on his way out this summer due to all the interest in his signature.

Maguire looks finished at United

Ten Hag has Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez at his disposal in defence, but Varane and Martinez are first choice when fit. When the pair were injured, Lindelof started alongside Luke Shaw over Maguire, so the writing may be on the wall for the ex Leicester star.

The 30-year-old is a hard player to sell, however, as he cost United £80m to sign while earning £190k-per-week in wages, so how many clubs can realistically afford him? And who would sanction such an outlay for a player that has been out of form?

As for Simakan, the French U21 international has made 35 appearances across the board this season. He’s missed 11 games due to niggles while operating in a variety of different positions – right-back, centre-back, right-midfield. It’s worth noting Simakan has started only 16 of Leipzig’s 32 Bundesliga outings, so he’s not been without his fitness woes.

Willi Orban and Josko Gvardiol have been preferred at centre-back over Simakan, so wouldn’t Man United want either of the duo? Gvardiol has been linked with a host of European giants, but he won’t come cheap with an £88m asking price, so Simakan would be a cheap alternative – his market value with Transfermarkt is €28m (£24m) while his valuation with CIES Football Observatory is €30m (£26m).

The 23-year-old isn’t likely to dethrone Varane and Martinez next season, however, so time will tell if Man United make a move.

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