Miranda Is the Wrong Atletico Madrid Centre-Back for Manchester United to Target

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterMay 28, 2014

LISBON, PORTUGAL - MAY 24:  Miranda of Club Atletico de Madrid in action during the UEFA Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Atletico de Madrid at Estadio da Luz on May 24, 2014 in Lisbon, Portugal.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

According to The Express, via sources in Spain, Atletico Madrid centre-back Miranda is close to agreeing a £24 million deal with Manchester United.

The Brazilian enjoyed a stellar season at the back for Diego Simeone's side, subscribing to the compact, careful game plan and dominating opposing strikers on a consistent basis.

It's no surprise to see Manchester United linked with los Colchoneros' defensive stars after losing Nemanja Vidic to Internazionale and Rio Ferdinand to free agency. With Phil Jones still developing into a role as yet unknown and Chris Smalling's development stunted by playing right-back, Louis van Gaal has a depleted corps to arrive to.

With talk of Ezequiel Garay moving to Zenit St. Petersburg to join Andre Villas-Boas, via The Mirror, United's steady link to the Argentine is set to come to an end. Dejan Lovren may not be attainable, and therefore horizons need to be broadened.

But Miranda, despite playing well and securing Copa del Rey and La Liga titles this season, is a questionable potential signing—especially for the price mentioned.

When assessing the Brazilian's contributions on the pitch, you can't help but notice the pillar of defensive excellence beside him named Diego Godin.

Godin is the one clubs should really, really want—he's a world-class centre-back capable of slotting into any team—and Miranda, in truth, is the bridesmaid to the Uruguayan bride.

Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

Harsh? Perhaps so, as Miranda is a very good defender who carries his own weight on the pitch, but at 29 years of age missed his last chance to participate at a World Cup and looks, in truth, a product of the system.

Much like John Terry, who enjoyed an incredible season largely because of Jose Mourinho's low block, Miranda excelled in a deep system that invited crosses and dominated aerially.

He wasn't required to run a high line, the only physical attribute required was strength and 75 percent of the mess was mopped up by his defensive partner.

Had Godin gone down, Atletico would have been seriously weakened, but Miranda is a very replaceable outlet within the confines of Simeone's squad; Toby Alderweireld and Jose Maria Gimenez could have stepped in and partnered up to little detriment.

At 29, Miranda is not a £24 million player and the link reeks of desperation/overcharging on account of United's desperation to secure better players. You could get Bruno Martins Indi or Stefan de Vrij for just over a quarter of the price.

If United plump for Miranda at £24 million—a statement-making price—they've chosen the wrong centre-back.