Manchester United interested in Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos – report

by Tanveer Arayan

Manchester United have expressed an interest in Borussia Dortmund and Greece defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos, according to reports from Germany.

The club recently confirmed that an agreement with Benfica for defender Victor Lindelof had been reached, with an official announcement set to arrive this week.

News of the Swede’s arrival has conversely placed the futures of both Phil Jones and Chris Smalling into doubt as Jose Mourinho continues to build his ideal defensive frontier ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.

And according to German outlet Bild, Man United have joined Chelsea in the pursuit of the 29-year-old.

News of Mourinho seeking out yet another centre back so soon after capturing the tantalising prospect of Lindelof could shed some light on the murky predicaments of Jones and Smalling this summer.

It was thought that, following Lindelof’s arrival, Mourinho was angling towards having a defensive quartet of Marcos Rojo, Eric Bailly, the Swede and one of Jones and Smalling, with Daley Blind and Axel Tuanzebe capable of acting as cover.

But perhaps the Portuguese has other ideas. Sokratis serves as a more traditional, stellar option, hardened by years of experience with various European sides, and Mourinho may feel as if capturing his signature – and, in turn, moving both Jones and Smalling out of the picture – is necessary for when it comes to building the defence he wants for next season.

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