The name Simon Kjaer hasn’t bounced around the transfer gossip columns for a while, but Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has reportedly lined up the Denmark stalwart as an Old Trafford centre-half target this summer.
Kjaer has been linked with a move to England since he was a teenager at Midtylland, with Chelsea and Middlesbrough both thought keen on landing the 6ft2in blonde prior to his 2008 move to Palermo.
The Serie A side prospered with Kjaer and Edinson Cavani in Sicily, finishing fifth in 2009/10, and the Dane left for Wolfsburg, then managed by former Boro boss Steve McClaren, in a £10m move at the end of the campaign, despite reported interest from United, Manchester City and Juventus, among others.
McClaren lasted just eight more months at the Volkswagen Arena before being replaced by former Die Wolfe manager Felix Magath, who bounced Kjaer off to Roma on loan.
The move proved temporary after a number of perceived errors from Kjaer during the 2012/13 campaign, but he has been a player reborn at Lille, who picked him up on a four-year-deal in July 2013.
Only runaway Ligue 1 winners Paris Saint-Germain conceded fewer goals last term than third-placed Les Dogues, and both Kjaer and Nigerian goalkeeper Victor Enyeama made it into the official team of the season, thanks to a haul of 21 clean sheets in 38 games.
Liverpool, Spurs, Juventus, Monaco and Zenit have all been credited with an interest in the 26-year-old, but the latest link in the Express claims the Red Devils will bid £11m for his services this summer.
The story also contains these quotes from Kjaer, who is clearly open to a move:
“I’ll only leave if a top club wants me, this season or next.
“If I do leave, stability will be important. The clubs who want me will need to show that they intend to rely on me in the long term.”
The Express suggests Kjaer would be a cheaper alternative to Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels, but United fans may get the best of both worlds this summer if the Daily Mirror is to be believed.
The red top leads with the headline ‘Manchester United target Mats Hummels ‘preparing his exit’ from Borussia Dortmund’, going onto claim the World Cup-winning centre-half hinted to Germany teammates during the international break that an Old Trafford switch was close to being agreed.
They also carry these quotes from Hummels in the story:
“I think moving abroad will be good for my professional and personal well-being. Eventually, I’d like to leave the Bundesliga.
“I’m being open about this because I’m not a fan of those who claim they are staying but, behind the scenes, have actually secretly agreed a transfer away from their current club.
“Everyone knows how much I love it at Dortmund, but I also want to make sure I’m part of a strong team with powerful players.”