Manchester United weigh up move for Freiburg defender Caglar Soyuncu

Manchester United weigh up move for Freiburg defender Caglar Soyuncu
Caglar Soyuncu is attracting attention for his performances in the shirt of Freiburg. (AFP)
Updated 27 April 2018

Manchester United weigh up move for Freiburg defender Caglar Soyuncu

Manchester United weigh up move for Freiburg defender Caglar Soyuncu
  • Mourinho wants to add four defenders to his squad
  • 21-year-old Soyuncu has been capped 13 times by Turkey

LONDON: Manchester United have begun scouting Turkey international Caglar Soyuncu with a view to including the young central defender in their summer recruitment plans.
The powerful 21-year-old has been watched on Jose Mourinho’s instruction as the Old Trafford manager assesses options to overhaul the Premier League club’s back four.
According to a source familiar with United’s recruitment strategy, Mourinho is considering adding as many as four new defenders to his squad. In addition to a starting left back, a new right-back and an experienced center-back to lead the defense, the Portuguese believes his squad would be strengthened by signing a talent who can be developed into one of Europe’s top central defenders.
Soyuncu has captured the interest of a number of Champions League clubs with his progress at Freiburg, whom he joined from Turkish second-tier side Altinordu in the summer of 2016. A full international since March of that year, the 6 feet 1 inch defender possesses the combination of aerial and technical abilities that has become coveted in his position.
At the top end of the Premier League, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City have all been credited with an interest in Soyuncu, who chose to move to Germany rather than one of Turkey’s most powerful clubs in order to accelerate his development as a footballer. Currently 16th in the 18-team Bundesliga and in danger of relegation, Freiburg’s public stance is that the player will not be sold “however much money is involved.”
Frustrated by Manchester City’s heavily financed domestic title success, Mourinho is pushing United’s board and ownership to be more aggressive in this summer’s transfer market. His argument is that a squad that has been partially restructured in his first two campaigns at Old Trafford still requires the addition of several “decisive” individuals if it is to recapture the Premier League trophy for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson’s 2013 retirement.
To make room for new signings Mourinho is recommending that several underused senior players be moved out, including Daley Blind, Matteo Damian and Luke Shaw. Of the five central defenders currently on United’s books, only Eric Bailly — signed from Villarreal for an initial €35 million ($42.3 million) two years ago — has established himself as a guaranteed starter when fit.