Manchester United are the latest club to enter the chase for Real Sociedad defender Alvaro Odriozola, who is a target for Real Madrid and Barcelona.
As per a report from Daily Mail, Alvaro Odriozola has another admirer among the top European clubs, with Manchester United monitoring the Real Sociedad youngster. Odriozola is now on Manchester United’s radar, who will have to contend with Real Madrid and Barcelona in order to secure the signature of the right-back.
Alvaro Odriozola is a product of the Real Sociedad youth setup, which has brought through quite a few great prospects in recent times for the senior team and the Spanish national setup as well. Odriozola was promoted to the senior side at the beginning of 2017 and the 22-year-old has never looked back since.
This season, Odriozola has been one of the first names on the team sheet, donning the right side of the defence and showcasing the perfect mixture of defensive acumen and attacking pedigree for Real Sociedad. His performances have already seen him become a full-fledged Spanish international and there is no dearth of interest in his services either.
Barcelona and Real Madrid have been long-term admirers of the 22-year-old, but the report suggests Manchester United are the latest to emerge as a potential suitor for the right-back. The Red Devils are monitoring the player’s displays with a view to converting their interest into a real offer in the summer transfer window.
At right-back, Manchester United have Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian within their squad. But, Jose Mourinho has persisted with Antonio Valencia and has opted to field centre-backs at the position in Valencia’s absence, instead of deploying the Italian, who himself looks to be on his way out when the transfer window reopens.
Valencia is already 32 and will be 33 in the summer. Thus, the Red Devils will need a long-term replacement for the Ecuadorian sooner rather than later. Odriozola, at 22, could be the perfect option for Jose Mourinho & co.
The Spaniard could be a squad option in the summer and could take over from the Ecuadorian by the end of the 2018-19 season or even earlier, if the need arises or if he manages to impress the Manchester United enough to warrant a rise in the pecking order.
At Barcelona, there is no need for a right-back at present. Sergi Roberto has often been deployed ahead of Nelson Semedo, their summer signing. And there could be reasons to believe that if Ernesto Valverde does sanction a move for Odriozola, he could risk losing one of Roberto and Semedo.
Odriozola himself is unlikely to be a starter at the Nou Camp in the short run, at least, with Roberto and Semedo both having ample years of service left.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, could be looking at Odriozola as a player to battle with Dani Carvajal for the starting position. At present, Zinedine Zidane just has Achraf Hakimi apart from Carvajal and while the youngster has given a good account of his abilities, Odriozola is a better overall prospect and also goes in line with the profile of transfer targets that Real Madrid have been bringing in recently.
— United Xtra (@utdxtra) February 26, 2018
Odriozola represents a true modern right-back in the sense that he is brilliant on the attacking front and while he is still learning to go about his defensive duties, his skill-set resembles a stark similarity to that of Antonio Valencia. Also, under Jose Mourinho, if he does join Manchester United, he is sure to learn the trades of defending well.
Sociedad value him at around £18 million – a fee that would not surprise Manchester United, Barcelona or Real Madrid. Odriozola seems primed to part ways with Real Sociedad and it would not be too much of a stretch to say that Manchester United will definitely be in the mix come summer.