Rio Ferdinand has identified Lens defender Kevin Danso and Ronald Araujo of Barcelona as centre halves who would bolster the manchester united defence.
United are in the market for an athletic centre half next summer as Raphael Varane is injury-prone and Lisandro martinez has required surgery on his right foot twice this year
There remains uncertainty over Harry Maguire long-term future, despite his mini-renaissance, while Jonny Evans’s contract expires in the summer and Victor Lindelof is also out of contract in June, althoug
Danso, 25, was once sent off for Southampton against United in August 2019 but helped Lens qualify for the champions league last season. Uruguay enforcer Araujo, 24, is a mainstay in the Barcelona defense
“The boy at Lens, there’s one there, he’s good,” Ferdinand told the Manchester Evening News. “The Uruguayan boy at Barcelona – Araujo. Whether he’s gettable or not, I think he’s brilliant. He’s an unreal centre half.
“He has every attribute to be perfect for the premier league I’d probably say he’s the standout, but whether he’s gettable or not, I don’t know.”
United recorded the highest number of clean sheets in the Premier League last season but they have already sieved 13 goals in 11 games this term, leaving them with a goal difference of -2.
Martinez is sidelined until late November at the earliest as he recovers from a metatarsal injury but Varane is currently fit.
United’s form in the run-in last season deteriorated when Varane and Martinez were forced off in the Europa league quarter-final first leg draw with Sevilla, the start of a run of only six wins in 13 games.
“I’ve always said this – to be a successful team, you need that foundation of a solid defence and to be able to pick similar players,” Ferdinand said.
“I think you look at the teams that have won recently – liverpool and Man City – they’ve had consistency in their backlines of players featuring, especially in important stages of the season. And maybe United haven’t been afforded that.
Varane has missed 35 United games out of a possible 123 and he was deliberately held back for the away win at Sheffield United on Saturday to start against Copenhagen on Tuesday evening.
Ferdinand was beset by a back problem in his latter years at United and he failed to break the 30-game barrier in three of his last five seasons at the club.
The six-times Premier League title winner did not play for England again after June 2011 and Varane retired from international duty after the World Cup last year.
“I had to manage a lot of my games and my training time,” Ferdinand explained. “I don’t know if Raphael is at that stage.
“But Martinez has been a huge, huge loss. His personality, his character, his ability on the ball has been exactly what Ten Hag wants and United were at their best last season when those two were playing together.
“But, again, with every person who falls away and gets injured, there’s an opportunity for someone else and at the moment, Harry Maguire seems to have that shirt. Hopefully that form continues now
You look at the players today; they’re finely-tuned machines. You look at the likes of Luka Modric, Cristiano is still going, Benzema, these guys are playing in their late 30s and playing every game, not missing games.
“I think Raphael’s situation, every player is unique in their own way but if he has to manage his game-time, the manager plays a big role in that.
“With Sir Alex Ferguson we used to talk a lot about it and definitely in the lead up to big games a week or two out there’d be conversations about managing yourself before that to make sure you were ready for that big game.”