Van Gaal eyes dominant Diego Godin in January
Red Devils manager Louis Van Gaal is aiming to put an end to his defensive woes this season, with the acquisition of Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin in January. United are odds-on 4/11 with Coral for a domestic top four finish.
Manchester United have turned their Premier League season around on the eve of the Christmas period, stringing together three consecutive victories.
A run of impressive wins over Crystal Palace and Arsenal were topped off with a 3-0 thrashing of Hull City at Old Trafford in their last outing.
Despite recent form, United started the campaign poorly, with Van Gaal’s defence being the main cause for concern, and a problem he will hope gallant Godin can correct.
Constant injuries to recognised senior defenders Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have forced the Dutch coach to take a more youthful approach at the back. Academy graduates Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair have both made their first-team debuts under Van Gaal’s reign this season, after a defensive crisis at Old Trafford.
With a long season ahead, the Red Devils will hope to lure Uruguay captain and La Liga winner Godin to their ranks, in a bid to cure their daunting defensive woes.
The 28-year-old World Cup star captained his country to the knockout stages in Brazil, heading the winner against Italy in the final group game, to send La Celeste through.
Godin, who also assisted Atletico to an historic domestic league triumph last season, has a reportedly hefty buyout clause of £28m.
However, the price will not put off Van Gaal, who is desperate to ease his ongoing defensive disaster.
United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward kept his promise of luring top names to Old Trafford in the summer transfer market, with the capture of Angel Di Maria being a pivotal big money signing. So another splurge of cash is imminent, as a search for a composed central defender continues.
Van Gaal’s side (7/2 to claim a major trophy this term) have a wealth of attacking options to choose from; it’s in his backline where the problems lie, and gifted Godin would finally bring some much-needed stability to the heart of the Old Trafford defence.