Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are chasing Bayer Leverkusen defender Omer Toprak.
The defender is an epitome of determination, courage and hard-work. Toprak overcame a go-karting crash that left him with life-threatening injuries to emerge as one of the Bundesliga’s best defenders.
He suffered with severe burns which required numerous skin grafts and treatment in a specialist hospital after the 2009 accident while he was still with former club Feriburg. He couldn’t play for four months but made a heroic comeback and has become one of the most established defenders in the Bundesliga and also earned 23 caps for Turkey.
The 25 year old is two-footed and his strengths are his pace, vision and composure at the back. In his fourth season with the club, Toprak has become a leader at the back for them. Roger Schmidt’s side have only lost once in the Bundesliga this season and Toprak has played a big part in this. His good performances have earned him the attention of these Premier League clubs who all desperately need defensive reinforcements.
Liverpool spent a lot in the summer to improve their defence, but it hasn’t exactly worked for the side with their defending still looking as shambolic as last season and there is no improvement from it. Manchester United also have a leaky defence, which got epitomized in the 5-3 defeat to Leicester City. United’s defence has been far from effective this season, despite the summer signings of Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo. Tottenham’s game would also improve with an established, calm figure at the back, especially with Vertonghen’s future with the club in doubt. All three clubs are in need for a leader at the back– someone who can organize things at the back.
Toprak’s current deal with Leverkusen runs until 2018 and the German side is confident they will be able to keep him as they look to push for another top 4 finish this season. However, Toprak could look for a new challenge and could easily be open to a switch to England next summer.
Van Gaal has been told he has more funds to spend in the next transfer window and has made a centre back his priority. There is interest in former Red Devil Gerard Pique as well and at present, out of the three sides in question, United have the likeliest chance of landing the Turkish international.