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Manchester United have reportedly joined the growing ranks targeting a summer move for Burnley centre-back Michael Keane.
According to John Cross in the Mirror, United manager Jose Mourinho could have to compete with Liverpool, Everton, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur to sign Keane, 24, while Burnley are likely to demand around £30 million for him.
Keane came through the youth ranks at Old Trafford but made a permanent move to Burnley in 2015 after making just one senior league appearance for United.
He was watching on as the Red Devils beat Chelsea 2-0 at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday, per the Manchester Evening News‘ Samuel Luckhurst:
Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst
Will and Michael Keane still cheering on United #mufc https://t.co/uwwAs19iaa
4/16/2017, 2:57:32 PM
Since he left United Keane has established himself as one of the best young centre-backs in England and he made his debut for the Three Lions back in March. He has played every minute of Burnley’s 2016-17 Premier League campaign so far, per WhoScored.com.
Per Cross, United could be at an advantage in the pursuit of Keane as there are “sell-on clauses in the deal with Burnley, which could make it work.”
United need added strength in the centre-back region. Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo have been excellent of late, playing the last five games together in the centre of defence and conceding just two goals.
However, the competition and back-up is lacking in Mourinho’s squad as, while Phil Jones and Chris Smalling can both be excellent on their day, they are far too injury-prone to be reliable.
Given his previous experience of United and the fact he has proved himself more than capable in the Premier League, Keane could be an excellent signing to complement the current centre-back unit at Mourinho’s disposal.
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Meanwhile, Ashley Young is not sure whether he has a future at Old Trafford despite captaining United in their fine 2-0 victory over Chelsea at the weekend.
The English winger has been increasingly involved for United of late with Mourinho opting to play him in a number of positions on either flank.
He was linked with a move to the Chinese Super League in the winter transfer window after only being used sparingly in the first half of the season, and the 31-year-old is still not guaranteed to be at Old Trafford still next season, but Young said he is only concentrating on playing, per the Telegraph:
There was of course, and there is always, speculation and especially when there is a transfer window and you are not playing.
But I have always said that I want to play as much as possible. What the future holds I am not too sure. I am just concentrating on each game and when the manager calls on me I will give 100 per cent and look to play as well as I can.
Young’s versatility and graft make him a useful member of the United squad. But his current deal at Old Trafford expires in 2018, and it is far from certain he will be offered a new one.