The transfer window may be about to shut, but rumours are flowing thick and fast. The latest suggests there could be a cross-town tussle between Manchesters United and City for Borussia Dortmund defender Marc Bartra. That comes courtesy of Marca via the Manchester Evening News, who claim that José Mourinho is impressed by the Spaniard’s ability to play at right-back as well as in his more natural centre-half role.
City are said to be on the brink of signing Athletic Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte, which could potentially give United a free run at Bartra. In the meantime, however, Pep Guardiola is still said to be interested in reuniting with the former Barcelona man, who has been handed nine starts in the Bundesliga so far this season.
As ever, take it with a pinch of salt. Bartra is serviceable but it’s far from clear he’s an upgrade on United’s current options, and with Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian both hanging around Old Trafford for the time being, we don’t really need any extra defensive cover. At 27, Bartra’s theoretically at the peak of his powers, and they’ve this season proved insufficient to dislodge Soktratis Papastathopoulos and Ömer Toprak. Next!