Manchester United are reportedly interested in signing the Bayern Munich star and his compatriot to strengthen a vulnerable defence.
The Red Devils had to settle for a draw against Arsenal on Saturday and their Premier League campaign is stubbornly refusing to pick up. One key area Jose Mourinho is looking to improve is the defence, with his public dressing down of Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw grabbing headlines recently.
Another area is central midfield, where Mourinho is reportedly looking to offload Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin. It now seems like the Red Devils are looking at the Bundesliga to solve their problems.
Man United sent scouts to watch the Austrian duo of David Alaba and Julian Baumgartlinger in their recent games against the Republic of Ireland and Slovakia, according to the Sunday edition of the Mirror.
The versatile David Alaba is considered one of the top young footballers in the world. His lesser known Austrian compatriot Baumgartlinger is a 28-year-old defensive midfielder who moved to Bayer Leverkusen from Mainz this past summer.
Manchester United aren’t the only big club interested in Alaba. Real Madrid reportedly made a bid of €65 million for the 24-year-old this past summer. However, his current club Bayern Munich are also one of the biggest clubs in Europe, and prising him away could prove to be difficult for the likes of United and Real.
Alaba is capable of playing in numerous roles. Previous Bayern manager Pep Guardiola used him in central defence and left-back, but current manager Carlo Ancelotti has been playing him in his preferred central midfield position.
The Austrian’s versatility, skill and accuracy in distribution makes him a valued asset to Bayern. Man United will surely have to break the bank to bring him to Old Trafford.
Julian Baumgartlinger is a far more feasible transfer though. The 28-year-old has just signed for Bayer Leverkusen and could well be enticed to move to the Premier League if the offer is good enough.
Baumgartlinger could even be the long sought after successor to Michael Carrick. The Austrian is defensively solid, good in the air and adept at holding on to the ball. His passing and distribution is also top notch, though not on the same level as Carrick. The addition of the Leverkusen midfielder as a shield for the defence could help ease the Red Devils’ defensive troubles.