Sky Sports: MUFC in the “race” for “complete” £26m rock, he’d be Ten Hag’s own Akanji

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According to reports, Manchester United is still in the running to sign Benjamin Pavard, a defender for Bayern Munich, but Erik ten Hag’s team will have to fight off competition from Manchester City to land the Frenchman.

What are the most recent transfer rumours regarding Man United?
Recently, there has been widespread rumour that the Red Devils are looking to offload club captain Harry Maguire ahead of the upcoming season. Europa Conference League champions West Ham United are reportedly interested in signing the 30-year-old this summer.

Despite Juventus and City currently being in the running for the Englishman, Sky Sports Germany reporter Florian Plettenberg has confirmed United’s interest in Pavard as a potential replacement amid the rumours of the Englishman’s departure.

“Pavard: FC Bayern, waiting for firm offers right now,” the transfer insider wrote on Twitter. As #Guardiola is very interested in Pavard, discussions between the player’s management and ManCity have taken place. But no deals have been reached yet. At this point, the competition is between Juventus, ManUtd, and #MCFC.

The versatile ace, 27, is in the final year of his contract at the Allianz Arena and could command a price of just €30 million (£26 million) if he were to be sold this summer, according to previous reports.

Benjamin Pavard’s talent level?
It is not surprising that there is so much interest in signing the World Cup champion for a discount price because the former Stuttgart star’s versatility will likely make him a valuable asset to Ten Hag. The player is equally at home playing at right-back or center-back.

The 6 foot 2 rock, who also referred to himself as “more complete” than Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool, may not have the most glamorous or “sexy” name, but he could turn out to be a smart investment for the Old Trafford team this summer.

The hope is that Pavard will enjoy the same success that Manuel Akanji, another former Bundesliga talent, has since leaving Germany for Manchester a year ago. The Swiss international went on to win the treble at the Etihad last season.

Similar to Pavard, the 6’1″ centre back, who can also play fullback, was acquired quietly for just £15 million by Pep Guardiola’s team last summer. At the time of the transfer, the player’s contract at Borussia Dortmund had just one year remaining.

Although Akanji went on to make 48 appearances across all competitions, as per ex-England number one Paul Robinson, he simply “surpassed expectations,” as pundit Alan Hutton noted at the time, it appeared as though that signing was merely to help bolster the club’s “strength in depth.”

Similar to the 27-year-old, Pavard, who Thomas Tuchel, the Bayern Munich manager, has dubbed “underrated,” could possibly shock a few people next season if he teams up with Ten Hag after recently demonstrating his talent.

Due to his similarity to Akanji, who ranks in the top 17% among his European peers for progressive passes and the top 20% for progressive carries, Pavard has the skills necessary to succeed in the Premier League. In comparison, Akanji ranks in the top 1% and top 9% for those same two metrics, respectively.

The fact that Pavard again ranks in the top 1% for that same metric, whereas the former Dortmund star ranks in the top 3% for attempted passes as a marker of his desire to play forward, further emphasises his ball-playing ability.

As a result, after seeing the impact that Akanji has had in Manchester thus far, Ten Hag may decide to sign another underappreciated Bundesliga star this summer in an effort to create his own version of the former Basel gem.

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