It seems certain that Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal will sign a centre-half before January is out, and rumours that the Red Devils will meet a reported £28.5m release clause in Diego Godin’s Atletico Madrid contract have raised many an eyebrow.
The odds compilers at bwin.com have priced up a Godin switch to United by the start of September 2015 at 2/1, which seems generous considering the lack of available top-class alternatives, alongside reports that executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward will turn on the spending taps again next month.
The Daily Telegraph claims that Woodward assured shareholders in a recent conference call that United would only make moves for long-term solutions in January, and at 28-years-old Godin fits the bill, particularly considering the balance of Old Trafford’s stock of defenders.
A Jonny Evans/Chris Smalling centre-half partnership would be the most experienced United could currently field; the pair are 26 and 25-years-old respectively, with Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair all younger.
The Red Devils have also been linked with Godin’s Atleti partner-in-crime Miranda in the past, but the Brazilian is a couple of years older than the Uruguayan, having just turned 30, which suggests he wouldn’t quite fit into Woodward’s ethos.
Godin also rates a more likely Van Gaal purchase than Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels, who has been linked with half of Europe’s elite clubs over the past 18 months without anything coming to pass
The World Cup winner’s injury record should also be taken into account, as Hummels has turned out 85 times for BvB since the start of the 2012/13 campaign, with various injuries seeing the 25-year-old miss huge chunks of last term.
Meanwhile, Godin has made it onto the pitch under Diego Simeone on 113 occasions over the same time period, which is thought to be a significant factor in Van Gaal’s targeting of the former Villarreal man.