Manchester United have expressed their desire to sign Atalanta’s rising defensive star Cristian Romero, who has recently signed a permanent deal with the Italian club.

According to a report from Nicolo Schira, Atalanta have activated Cristian Romero’s buyout clause worth €16 million, as the player was initially on loan from Juventus. The defender’s future, though, still hangs in the balance, as Manchester United have joined the race for his signature this summer.

A product of the Belgrano youth academy in his native Argentina, Romero has been one of the rising stars for Atalanta this season. He was initially brought in from Juventus last summer, in a season-long loan deal, but has quickly established himself as a pivotal member of the club’s defensive unit.

Romero made 31 appearances for Atalanta in Serie A this past, building a formidable defensive partnership alongside Berat Djimsiti and Rafael Toloi. Their collective contributions helped the club secure a third-placed finish in the league, ahead of clubs like Juventus, Napoli and AS Roma.

Romero’s performances haven’t gone unnoticed either, with Lionel Scaloni also picking him in Argentina’s squad for the upcoming Copa America. Manchester United’s recent interest now just affirms the huge growth the defender has had over the past nine months, under the leadership of Gian Piero Gasperini.

There is no secret that the Premier League giants are in the market for a centre-back this summer, despite finishing second in the Premier League. It appears Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer, as well as the fans, are frustrated with the club’s defensive frailties, so they are keen on adding some competition in the defensive unit.

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The Red Devils are even open to signing an upgrade over Victor Lindelof, having been linked with Raphael Varane among many others. However, their exorbitant price tag could potentially leave rule them out of the race.

Cristian Romero, though, might be an ideal cost-effective alternative. The youngster has reportedly signed a permanent contract with Atalanta, but given the current financial climate, the Serie A giants will not be averse to making a quick profit by immediately cashing in on their defensive giant.

The Red Devils could indeed face major complications in working out a deal, though, knowing Atalanta will have the leverage to unnecessarily drive up the defender’s valuation, especially if he performs in Copa America.

Alternatively for Manchester United, though, they could look towards reported Chelsea target Maxence Lacroix as a potential alternative for the likes of Jules Kounde and Varane.

What will Maxence Lacroix bring to the table for Chelsea? | THT Opinions

Speaking of Romero, meanwhile, the club’s very own Sergio Romero is reportedly wanted by Everton and Juventus. His contract expires in the summer, with the goalkeeper most likely to leave Old Trafford after six years of service.

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