Manchester United FC

Man Utd monitoring Atalanta centre-back Cristian Romero

Tom Gott
May 13, 2021, 9:30 AM GMT+1
Man Utd are monitoring Cristian Romero
Man Utd are monitoring Cristian Romero / Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Manchester United have added Atalanta centre-back Cristian Romero to their shortlist as they look to bolster their backline this summer.

Finding a long-term partner for Harry Maguire has long been one of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's top priorities, with both Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly not seen as suitable candidates for the role.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Harry Maguire
Solskjaer wants a new partner for Maguire / Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

90min understands that Sevilla's Jules Kounde and Villarreal's Pau Torres have been identified as United's top two targets for the summer, but with both players attracting interest from most of the game's elite, club officials are keen to explore other options.

According to Sky Sports News, that wider search has led them to Romero, who is expected to join Atalanta permanently this summer after excelling during his loan from Juventus.

Atalanta are likely to trigger their £21.5m option to sign the 23-year-old permanently, but it is understood that they would be prepared to flip him for a quick profit if somebody came in with an offer of over £34m.

Cristian Romero
Atalanta plan to sign Romero permanently / Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Lille's Sven Botman is another on United's reserve list, while club officials are keeping a close eye on the situation of Raphael Varane, who is inching closer to a departure from Real Madrid this summer after refusing to extend his contract.

After his side's 2-1 loss to Leicester City, Solskjaer confessed that United still need to strengthen if they are to compete with champions Manchester City next season.

"If you want to take up the challenge with them we need to strengthen our squad," he said. "We want to take the next step and it might be that we need a couple more to strengthen the squad."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Solskjaer insists reinforcements are necessary / Pool/Getty Images

Finding a new striker is no longer a priority for United following the contract extension of Edinson Cavani, so the club can now turn to other targets. 90min understands the focus is on Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, who wants a £75m transfer wrapped up before the Euros.

A backup right-back is also on the agenda, with Atletico Madrid's Kieran Trippier on the radar, and the club also want a new backup goalkeeper. Aston Villa's Tom Heaton has been approached but is thought to favour a move to a club who can offer him first-team football.

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