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Man Utd left surprised by Jhon Lucumi, perfect competitor for Martinez?

Manchester United are likely to reinforce their central defensive department during the summer transfer window and there could be more than one signing.

The club will need to find a replacement for Raphael Varane, who appears likely to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the campaign.

The Frenchman’s exit could pave the way for a new right-footed centre-back. In our view, the hierarchy may also look to pursue a left-footed option as well.

With Lisandro Martinez’s concerning injury record, the club could aim for a cost-effective left-footed option. Bologna’s Jhon Lucumi could be an ideal fit.

The Red Devils have been watching his progress with Serie A club Bologna this term and AS recently claimed that the Colombian has left them surprised.

The 25-year-old is a ‘very agile’, ‘fast’ and ‘physical’ centre-back. He has completed almost 54 passes per league game this term with an accuracy of 93 per cent.

Lucumi has also won an impressive 70 per cent of his ground and aerial duels and has averaged two tackles, two clearances and 5.2 recoveries per appearance.

Hence, he is an all-round defender, quite similar to Martinez. The centre-back is valued at €11 million by Transfermarkt and could be signed for an affordable fee.

United’s other alternative appears to be Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite, but he won’t come on the cheap.

The Toffees are likely to demand a premium fee in the region of £75m (€88m) for Branthwaite, who still has to improve on his distribution under a high press.

If funds are limited, United are unlikely to spend big on two marquee centre-backs. Lucumi seems a good cost-effective acquisition to provide cover for Martinez.

Stats from &