Manchester United and Liverpool will go head-to-head this summer in a bid to sign Atletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez, according to reports
According to the Mirror, both Manchester United and Liverpool have identified Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez as a potential summer target and will battle it out with each other in order to land the Uruguayan international this summer.
The 22-year old has become one of the most highly-rated defenders in Europe after moving to Atletico Madrid from Danubio back in 2013 for a €900,000 fee and has been linked with United several times in the past, most recently in the January transfer window when Mourinho reportedly attempted to sign the player.
The Mirror now claim that Mourinho will return in the summer and that United are leading the race for the 22-year old, although Liverpool will attempt to usurp their deal for the Uruguayan international.
They state that Jurgen Klopp is eyeing additions to his squad for all areas except right-back and that he has “registered” his interest in Gimenez, with United and Liverpool both hoping to land him for less than his £39 million release clause as a result of his lack of first team minutes.
The form of Diego Godin and Stefan Savic has meant that Gimenez has been restricted to just 7 starts and 2 substitute appearances this season in the La Liga, but he has nevertheless impressed whenever he has played.
A pacy, aggressive defender who is a great tackler of the ball, Gimenez is also known for his focus and concentration. This season he has been registering an average of 2.03 tackles won, 2.82 interceptions, 3.29 aerial duels won and an impressive 6.42 clearances per 90 minutes in the La Liga, according to Squawka.
It is no surprise that both Manchester United and Liverpool are interested in the defender given his potential. Mourinho’s side need defensive reinforcements particularly given Phil Jones’ recurring injury issues and Chris Smalling’s poor form.
Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind have been solid enough this season but there is no doubt that Mourinho will be looking for an upgrade on both players and given Gimenez’s age as well as the potential he has shown, he might be exactly that.
Liverpool also need reinforcements at centre back, as Dejan Lovren has looked unconvincing at times and Klopp’s experiment with Lucas Leiva at centre back has failed on several occasions this season.
Joel Matip has been a revelation at the back for the Reds and with the right partner, Liverpool could go some way to solving their defensive issues. However, both clubs will have to pay a huge amount for the highly-rated Gimenez and it remains to be seen if Atletico will even be willing to part with the 22-year old.