Manchester United

Manchester United Transfer Rumours: Red Devils Must Win Race for Fabian Schar

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 18:  Fabian Schar of FC Basel in action during the UEFA Champions League Group E Match between Chelsea and FC Basel at Stamford Bridge on September 18, 2013 in London, England at Stamford Bridge on September 18, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images
Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistDecember 20, 2013

Although Basel's Champions League run is over for this season, the Swiss outfit once again showed evidence of being a European power when it comes to housing some prodigious youth talent in their Group E trials.

One such youngster managing to hold a good account of himself against the likes of Chelsea, Schalke and Steaua Bucharest is Fabian Schar, whose performances have been sufficient in landing him a generous helping of winter attention.

BASEL, SWITZERLAND - APRIL 25:  Victor Moses (R) of Chelsea holds off the challenge of Fabian Schar (L) of FC Basel during the UEFA Europa League Semi Final First Leg match between FC Basel 1893 and Chelsea at St. Jakob Stadium on April 25, 2013 in Basel,
Clive Rose/Getty Images

According to Gary Jones of the Daily Star, Manchester United are among a number of European giants looking to take on the services of the versatile defender.

However, Arsenal are just one of the continental powerhouses who could pose stiff competition for the starlet, with Dimitrios Papadopoulos, Schar's representative, quoted in Jones' report as saying:

He is happy at Basel, where there is a great atmosphere within the club. Arsenal? I can confirm we have had contact with English clubs who want to sign him. There is also interest from Italian and German clubs, but we have more contact from England.

David Moyes may not have defensive recruitment at the top of his priorities right now, but he should take the tack of his predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson and simply take opportunities for transfer business as they come to him.

In a way, Schar is not too dissimilar from current Red Devils prospect Phil Jones. A centre-back at heart with the ability to play on the right side of defence should the occasion call for it, and it wouldn't be a complete surprise if his athleticism allowed him to hold his own as a deep-lying midfielder, either.

That being said, the 21-year-old would be coming to Old Trafford as defensive cover if he were to arrive, as an eventual replacement for the ageing likes of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.

With Jonny Evans and Jones looking likely to be the next-generation central partnership of choice, Schar would have some big competition in his way, but then depth is vital in any squad looking to compete for Premier League honours.

The Basel youngster has started in 15 of his club's Swiss Super League outings this term, showing a distinct thirst for goal, netting three and providing his side with two assists, per

This form in front of goal carries over to the international game and in five appearances for the Swiss national team, Schar has scored three goals, a prolific ratio even by a striker's standards.

BASEL, SWITZERLAND - APRIL 25:  Victor Moses (R) of Chelsea is challenged by Fabian Schar (L) of FC Basel during the UEFA Europa League Semi Final First Leg match between FC Basel 1893 and Chelsea at St. Jakob Stadium on April 25, 2013 in Basel, Switzerla
Clive Rose/Getty Images

However, there's no skimping at the back, either. According to Squawka, Schar completed an average of 12 defensive actions per Champions League match this term, three more than any other player in his squad.

It's nothing brand new for the stopper, either, who was impressive in his team's Europa League outing against Chelsea last term, The Football Front providing some context:

Shining so brightly at such a young age, it's swiftly becoming evident that the former bank intern is meant for more than the Swiss top flight, although that's no disrespect to Basel and their success of recent years.

As aforementioned, a player of Schar's specifications may not seem like the priority at Old Trafford right now, but it's important that Moyes sees value when it rears its head, and Schar's potential makes him a deal worth pouncing for.

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