Man United looking for defensive recruits

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is looking to sign young defenders in the summer in a bid to bolster his ageing backline, The Daily Mail reports. United have identified Nice right back Diacko Fofana, Crystal Palace defender Nathaniel Clyne and PSV left back Jetro Willems.

Rio Ferdinand has struggled with injuries in recent seasons and with Nemanja Vidic out of action until the end of the season, there are doubts over his Old Trafford future. Patrice Evra is now 30 and his time at Old Trafford is closing in quickly. Ferguson wants to rebuild with youth and leave a good setup at United for when he leaves the job after 25 years’ loyal service. United scouts have watched 17 year old Fofana in action for the French side and he is rated at £5m by the Ligue 1 side.

Fofana is under contract until June 2015, but could become available if United pay the asking price of the Nice side. The 17 year old broke into the first team last season and is now a regular. Clyne has also been earmarked by Ferguson after the Palace man impressed in the Carling Cup tie between the two sides. Palace are reluctant to sell the 20 year old, but could be tempted by a good offer from the Premier League champions.

Willems has made seven Premier League appearances so far this season for PSV and has been identified as a long-term replacement for Evra. The youngster joined PSV from Sparta Rotterdam last summer and has represented Holland at youth level. The 17 year old was watched by Ferguson’s brother, and scout, Martin before Christmas with a move to a January switch, but United could not negotiate a deal.

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