Manchester United have added Michael Keane’s name to their list of summer transfer targets, according to reports
According to the Mirror, Jose Mourinho will try and bring Michael Keane back to Old Trafford this summer, but will have to fight off interest from the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and Liverpool.
Keane was a part of United’s youth set-up but along with several loan spells, the England international only managed to 1 senior appearance for the Red Devils before being sold to Burnley in 2015 for a fee of £2.5 million – although Burnley now value him at £30 million according to the Mirror.
He has since gone on to become one of Burnley’s key players and has been hugely impressive at the heart of Sean Dyche’s defence this season, with his performances eventually earning him a call-up to the England national team.
A well-rounded defender who excels at aerial duels, interceptions and has exceptional concentration during the match, Keane has been registering an average of 0.64 tackles won, 3.76 aerial duels won, 1.94 interceptions, 1.27 blocks and an impressive 7.15 clearances per 90 minutes in the league, according to Squawka.
Keane’s reputation since the move to Burnley has only been growing with each passing game and Leicester City even tried signing the defender in a £20 million deal in the summer. However, Keane is now being targeted by much bigger clubs than the Foxes.
Manchester United have been on the look-out for a defender ever since Jose Mourinho took over. With Chris Smalling and Daley Blind failing to impress the Portuguese tactician, United are in need of defensive reinforcements this summer with Mourinho looking to sign a quality centre-half to partner Eric Bailly.
At 24 years of age, Keane has plenty of time left ahead of him and the fact that he spent his youth career with United will only make it easier for the Red Devils to resign him, as one can see with the signing of Paul Pogba.
Liverpool were also rumoured to be monitoring Keane’s situation, as Jurgen Klopp is also on the lookout for defensive reinforcements. Joel Matip has been an unequivocal success since signing on a free from Schalke this summer but the Reds have still had their share of defensive issues this season.
Dejan Lovren has definitely improved since signing for the Reds but still looks prone to errors, while the scarcity of options at centre-back have led to Klopp playing Lucas at centre back on occasion. It is clear that the Reds need reinforcements and it would make sense to sign someone who is already excelling in the Premier League.
Given that Keane will only have a year left on his contract at the end of the season, neither club will have to pay over the odds to sign him. However, United will be the clear favourites as they will be able to outmuscle Liverpool financially and Keane’s sentimental attachment to the club could convince him to return to Old Trafford.