Manchester United are reportedly interested in signing Jordi Alba from Barcelona in the summer.
According to a report in ESPN, Jordi Alba has emerged as a top target for Manchester United, who are set to pursue a deal for the Barcelona defender in the summer transfer window. The move could be a hard one to pursue for the Premier League club though, as Alba will not force his exit from Camp Nou.
Alba played the early years of his career in youth football at Barcelona before eventually moving to Valencia. The player enjoyed a fruitful five-year spell with Los Che before being snapped up by Barcelona in the summer of 2012.
The move back to Camp Nou has seen Alba take his career to larger heights as he has established himself as one of the best full-backs in the world. After four highly successful campaigns with Barcelona, though, 2016/17 turned out to be a lacklustre season for Alba as well as the club.
The Blaugrana relinquished their league title to Real Madrid and also saw their bitter rivals win the Champions League once again having been eliminated in the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, Alba made 39 appearances in all competitions for the Catalan club, failing to become an ever present in defence.
Moreover, he was overlooked for some key games in the Champions League when Luis Enrique switched to a back-three. Thus, as the recently concluded season wore on, Alba had started growing increasingly unsettled at Barcelona, and a summer exit from the club was reportedly on the cards.
Alba’s situation at Barcelona has particularly alerted Premier League clubs, with Manchester City and Manchester United holding a long-time interest signing him. While the Citizens have since moved on to other targets, their city rivals have continued to monitor the Spaniard.
Thus, Manchester United look set to pursue a move for Alba in the summer transfer window. Jose Mourinho used as many as five players at left-back last season as Luke Shaw struggled with form, fitness and confidence issues.
Shaw is currently nursing yet another injury and might not be fit to start the first game of next season. With the likes of Daley Blind, Darmian and Ashley Young – three of the players used at left-back last season – not being naturals in the position, a move for Alba is ideal for the Manchester United boss.
Alba, however, feels more settled at Barcelona upon the arrival of Ernesto Valverde and will only leave the club if he is surplus to requirements. As things stand though, he is staying at Camp Nou, leaving Manchester United with a sizable task to persuade him to make the switch to Old Trafford.