Bosnia’s Reprezentacija website has come forward with an ‘EKSKLUZIVNO’ linking Manchester United to an interest in Schalke left-back Sead Kolasinac.
The 20-year-old could rival fellow supposed target Luke Shaw as the long-term replacement for long-serving Reds fullback Patrice Evra.
Rated at around €5m, the Bosnian international offers a far more economical alternative to the young Saint and in some ways he already outstrips Shaw for experience.
While he may only have clocked 37 Bundesliga appearances to date, he has double the caps for his nation (admittedly that’s just two) and has featured nine times in the Premier League.
One of the many undoubted strings to Shaw’s bow is the fact that he boasts the adaptability to play on the left-wing on occasion.
However, here once again Kolasinac outstrips him, comfortable as he is also at centre-half or in defensive midfield when necessity dictates.
The German-born Bosnian’s most instantly compelling attribute is his imposing physical stature, with the youngster boasting the bull-neck of a cruiserweight pugilist.
He’s no plodder though, as his rugged build is allied with speed enough for him to have outsprinted Arjen Robben on several occasions when the two duelled earlier this year.
Shaw’s all-round statistical output illustrates why he is valued at six times Kolasinac’s price, bettering the Schalke man on duels won by 57 per cent to 45 per cent and creating 18 more scoring chances over the course of the campaign.
Yet the fact remains that the imposing €5m man rates a very thrifty alternative that looks custom built for the physical rigours of the Premier League.
For now Patrice Evra remains the dominant left-back on the United roster and recently showed that the goalscoring touch of a man who began his career as a striker has not deserted him by bagging the opener against Bayern Munchen.
The flying Frenchman can be backed at healthy 19/2 to score as part of a United win against Norwich.