Manchester United targeting defensive trio after Lisandro Martinez injury?


Manchester United have reportedly listed Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo as one of their main targets for the January transfer window. Edmond Tapsoba of Bayer Leverkusen and Benfica's Antonio Silva are also thought to be of interest to the club, who are set to be on the hunt for a new centre-back.

The recent injury to Lisandro Martinez - which will keep the Argentine out for a couple of months - leaves Man United short in numbers in the centre of defence.

Jonny Evans was drafted in for a first United start in over eight years last weekend against Burnley, to emphasise how threadbare Erik ten Hag's options currently are.

Raphael Varane was only fit enough for the bench, while Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw both missed out with injury.

With Maguire's future also seriously under threat, United are set to enter the market to bolster their defensive options.

Fabrizio Romano claims that along with Todibo, United are scouting Tapsoba and Silva, while further names could be added to their shortlist before the transfer window reopens in January.

Former Barcelona man Todibo has played a central role in Nice's impressive start to the Ligue 1 season.

Under Francesco Farioli, Nice currently sit second and have the best defensive record in the division.

In five league appearances so far, Todibo has helped his side keep three clean sheets, while also being part of the XI which won 3-2 away at Paris Saint-Germain two weeks ago.

Likewise, Tapsoba has been a regular at another side flying high in one of Europe's top five leagues - Bayer Leverkusen.

Xabi Alonso's men cruised to another comfortable victory last weekend, beating Heidenheim 4-1 to maintain their position level on points with Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga.

Tapsoba has been ever-present under Alonso this season, as Leverkusen have been near-faultless, only dropping points in that eye-catching 2-2 draw away to Bayern.

Silva is the more inexperienced of the trio, but he enjoyed a fine breakout campaign during 2022-23, helping Benfica to the league title while also scoring in a Champions League quarter-final.

At just 19 though, Silva's tender years may see others preferred at this point in time, despite him already establishing himself in the heart of the Benfica defence.

Benfica were having a shaky start to the campaign after losing to Boavista on the opening day, and at home to Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League, where Silva was sent off for an extremely bizarre handball incident.

However, a win over Porto on Friday night saw Benfica shine again, and Silva in particular, as he kept a clean sheet in arguably the most important game of the season so far.

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