Man Utd lay out defender transfer plan after ‘critical’ Gary Neville rant

Manchester United opted to step out of the race to sign Dayot Upamecano, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looking to go in a different direction for any potential centre-back signings.

Solskjaer was steadfast in his belief that Untied didn't need to add a central defender last summer, despite protestations from the likes of Gary Neville.

The United boss felt that first-choice pairing Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire, along with alternatives like Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe had enough quality to ensure their transfer focus could lie elsewhere.

However, the 31 goals they've conceded have ultimately hamstrung their bid to win a first Premier League title since 2013.

It now looks likely that Solskjaer could be in the market for a high-profile arrival at the end of the season, with a host of names linked with a move.

Upamecano was one of those touted as a possible option, particularly with his £42.5million release clause set to become active at the end of the current campaign.

United, along with rivals Liverpool, were both heavily linked, only to see the RB Leipzig defender announce his transfer to European champions Bayern Munich.

Solskjaer continues to assess his options and ESPN report that United cooled their interest in the 22-year-old after it was decided they would sign a left-footed defender.

Maguire and Lindelof are both right-sided and Solskjaer believes that it will add more balance to his team by signing someone to play on the other side.

Neville meanwhile, has made it clear that without reinforcements his old side will be unable to bring the Premier League title back to Old Trafford.

"If you look back at the best centre-back pairings in the Premier League Manchester United have had – the relationship between them and the goalkeeper is critical if you are to win the Premier League,” Neville told Sky Sports last week.

"If you look at Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, they had a midfield in front of them of Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs and Cristiano Ronaldo. There's not really a defender amongst them.

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  • "When you look at this pair now of Lindelof and Maguire, you could put the 1.8 points per game down to the fact they're playing in a weaker team, but they concede a goal a game.

    “Even with Fred and Scott McTominay in front of them. They've got two defensive midfielders sat right in front of them and they don't move.”

    He added: “To win titles, that triangle of goalkeeper and two centre-backs need to be as solid as a rock.

    They concede too many goals and if you concede one or more goals per game, you're not going to win a Premier League. Manchester United have to look at that.”

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