Manchester United Transfer News: Eliaquim Mangala Desires Old Trafford Switch

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistJune 6, 2014

France's Eliaquim Mangala, left, vies for the ball with Netherlands' Robin Van Persie, right, during the friendly soccer match between France and Netherlands at the Stade de France in Saint Denis, north of Paris, Wednesday March 5, 2014. France won 2-0.France's Paul Pogba watches at center.(AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)
Remy de la Mauviniere/Associated Press

The tug-of-war for Eliaquim Mangala's post-World Cup services has begun with the defender said to prefer a move to disposed Premier League Champions Manchester United.

Jamie Jackson of The Guardian reported that the highly-rated French international has been subject of interest from Manchester City but the player would prefer a switch to Old Trafford.

Mangala has emerged as City's main transfer priority in recent weeks as they search for a partner for Vincent Kompany. However, Mangala is willing to forfeit Champions League football to play for United but it is said that Louis van Gaal has doubts over the player, per Jackson.

PARIS, FRANCE - DECEMBER 04:  Zlatan Ibrahimovic  of PSG and Eliaquim Mangala of Porto battle for the ball during the Group A UEFA Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain FC and FC Porto at Parc des Princes on December 4, 2012 in Paris, France.
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

The Porto defender's reputation has exploded in recent times, and he featured 32 times last season in the domestic league and European competition, per, and also scored five times.

Mangala is an explosive individual with power and poise but does indeed have disciplinary issues, something that may concern Van Gaal. 

Jackson also wrote that Chelsea are monitoring Mangala's situation, with the player publicly stating he admires the London club and would also prefer a move to Stamford Bridge over the Etihad.

He said, per Jackson:

City or Chelsea? Chelsea because it is London. It is true that I love the Premier League because it is a spectacular championship. In January, there were discussions with City, but it fell through because the two clubs could not reach an agreement. Every player wants to play in the biggest clubs. I am an ambitious player and the team that can help me win titles is the one that interests me.

Mangala is a physical specimen built for English football and it is highly likely that he will start next season's campaign at one of the major Premier League clubs.

United are in desperate need of central defensive reinforcements after the exits of captain Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand. Van Gaal's actions in replacing both of these alpha male centre-backs will be key in any future success the club may have, next year.

Mangala's desire to join United over the newly-crowned Premier League Champions shows that the Old Trafford club still has tremendous pulling power despite its lack of European competition next season.

The big Frenchman would be perfect for the Red Devils and would automatically solidify a huge problem area for United.

Paulo Duarte/Associated Press

But if Van Gaal does not see Mangala as a leader he may turn his attentions elsewhere, especially when you consider the cost of any such deal for the player.

Jackson confirmed that any deal for Mangala would be in the region of £35 million and that Van Gaal would prefer to recruit Mats Hummels from Borussia Dortmund.

Hummels would also be a fine acquisition and is a player who has developed on the world stage with Jurgen Klopp's team. He would also be a fine replacement for Vidic and could be developed as a leader at Old Trafford.

Mangala has already been at the heart of three league championship-winning defences and at still only 23 years old will develop further. His desire to play for United should be noted but if the club turn down the chance to sign him they must ensure that a defender of a similar caliber is purchased this summer.


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