Manchester United are among the clubs monitoring the progress of VfL Bochum’s young defensive talent, Armel Bella-Kotchap.
According to The Sun, Armel Bella-Kotchap has emerged as a transfer target for Manchester United. The VfL Bochum youngster is one of four German talents the club is keeping close tabs on, with Ralf Rangnick keen on strengthening the base of the squad.
A product of the Bochum youth academy, Bella-Kotchap is regarded as one of Germany’s best young defensive talents. He rose into prominence last season, building a solid defensive combination with Maxim Leitsch. He featured in 28 league matches in total, helping Bochum win promotion to the Bundesliga.
Bella-Kotchap’s excellent season in 2. Bundesliga had even alerted the likes of Chelsea in the summer. But the youngster opted to remain at Bochum and earn his breakthrough in the Bundesliga.
However, as we head towards the halfway point of the campaign, the 20-year-old has had a rather underwhelming season with Die Unabsteigbaren. He started the campaign as a first-team regular but was involved in the thrashings at the hands of RB Leipzig, Bayern Munich and even Hertha Berlin.
Bella-Kotchap’s underwhelming performances forced coach Thomas Reis to shuffle things up, with the youngster falling behind Erhan Masovic and Vasilios Lampropoulos in the pecking order. The two have offered excellent service so far, helping the club secure wins over SC Freiburg, Eintracht Frankfurt, and TSG Hoffenheim.
However, Bella-Kotchap’s poor season so far has not deterred Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick, who is also eyeing a move for Borussia Monchengladbach starlet Luca Netz.
It is apparent that Rangnick wants to add more competition for the central defensive duo of Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane, especially with Eric Bailly facing an uncertain future at the club. The former Villarreal star has been notably linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur, among many other clubs across Europe.
Phil Jones is likely to leave Manchester United as well amid interest from Newcastle United. His potential departure could accentuate the need for a new centre-back that can serve as a deputy for Maguire and Varane.
Armel Bella-Kotchap, to that end, might be a questionable option given his stunted growth over the past six months. The 20-year-old has failed to live up to his potential in the Bundesliga so far and might not particularly fit in at United. However, given the player’s potential, the Red Devils can certainly secure a deal for the Bochum youngster and ideally send him out to loan to a Premier League club during the second half of the campaign.