Man United go head to head with Chelsea for€40m French starlet

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Manchester United ae set to rival Chelsea for the signing of AS Monaco’s French defender Benoit Badiashile.

The towering centre half enjoyed a fantastic campaign last season and looks likely to move on from Monaco, having just 18 months left to run on his current contract.

At 21 years of age he would be an attractive option for either Premier League club, with both likely in need of a left-footed centre back.

Erik ten Hag was quick to sign Lisandro Martinez from Ajax in the summer, allowing him to field a left-footer on the left side of his defensive pairing.

However the newly minted World Cup winner remains the only non-right-footed central defender in United’s squad, meaning that sooner or later, the Red Devils will likely need to reinforce the position.

Foot Mercato reports that Badiashile will cost around €40m, with Chelsea and United both keen at that price.

Previously both clubs were rumoured to be set to battle it out for Josko Gvardiol, however despite Lionel Messi’s best efforts to make him affordable at the FIFA World Cup, the Croatian defender is still thought to be out of reach for Chelsea – and certainly for Man United at this stage.

While United are unlikely to pay even €40m for a central defender in the January transfer window, a summer move would not be out of the question.

At that point, Badiashile will need to be moved on by Monaco, lest the Ligue 1 side risk losing the player on a Bosman ruling twelve months later.

That could make the Frenchman an attractive proposition for United, particularly if they end up moving on a centre half or two.

Harry Maguire’s impressive performances at the World Cup has led to speculation that he may look to move on at the end of the season in search of regular first-team football.

He certainly did nothing to harm his chances of finding a suitable club while out in Qatar, and away from the pressures of Old Trafford, he could be an asset to another team.

In that instance, Badiashile could be an ideal target to strengthen Ten Hag’s defensive options.

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