Manchester United Reportedly Make Bid for Clement Lenglet Amid Barcelona Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJune 5, 2018

MUNICH, GERMANY - APRIL 11: Clement Lenglet of Sevilla controls the ball during the UEFA Champions League quarter final second leg match between Bayern Muenchen and Sevilla FC at Allianz Arena on April 11, 2018 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Manchester United have reportedly made an offer to Sevilla for their young defender Clement Lenglet. 

According to L'Equipe (h/t Metro) the Red Devils have made their move for the Frenchman, who has been linked with a move to Barcelona in recent weeks.

It's noted that the 22-year-old has a release clause in his contract with the Andalusian club of €35 million (£31 million), making him a potential bargain for some of European football's biggest sides. Lenglet has made major strides since joining Sevilla in January 2017.

As relayed by French football writer Jeremy Smith, it's suggested by L'Equipe that United were impressed by the performance of Lenglet when the two teams met in the UEFA Champions League last season:

Jeremy Smith @jeremysmith98

Reports from @lequipe that Manchester United, impressed by his performances against them for Sevilla, have made a concrete approach for centre back Clement Lenglet. Barcelona his other main suitor. #MUFC

Sevilla sprung a shock in the competition in the first knockout round, as after a 0-0 draw at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in the first leg, Sevilla beat United 2-1 at Old Trafford to progress into the quarter-finals.

While two-goal hero Wissam Ben Yedder grabbed the headlines that evening, the performance of Lenglet did not go unnoticed, as he expertly marshaled Romelu Lukaku throughout the contest.

As relayed by football writer Jonas Giaever, it's long been reported in the Spanish press that Lenglet is off to the Camp Nou:

Jonas Giæver @CheGiaevara

If Man United want to sign Clement Lenglet they better be quick. It's been pretty much said and done in the Spanish press that Barcelona have made it clear they'll pay his buyout clause at €35m https://t.co/0xV5gvKLqa

Late interest from United wouldn't be a shock either, as manager Jose Mourinho has had issues at centre-back throughout his tenure.

Eric Bailly appeared a sound acquisition in his first summer in charge, although the Ivory Coast international has been hampered by injury problems in his two seasons at Old Trafford. United also spent big on Victor Lindelof last summer, although he's yet to convince.

Mourinho has spent big on the defence since his arrival.
Mourinho has spent big on the defence since his arrival.Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

Subsequently United typically relied on Phil Jones and Chris Smalling last season. While the pair enjoyed some good games together, often in the biggest matches they're found to be a little short of the quality required.

If Lenglet was to arrive he would carry the same sort of risks as Bailly and Lindelof in that he's a young defender arriving in the Premier League from overseas under pressure to perform at a huge club. 

There's no doubting the talent is there with the young Frenchman, although blogger Hesham Bilal-Hafiz would prefer United to go for a more established defender:

Hesham Bilal-Hafiz @hesham786

Not sure what to think of these Lenglet links. If he were to come it would instantly spell the end of a potential Alderweireld signing. Personally prefer Toby, already an elite CB and the leader-type we need to put in our back line. #mufc

Having struggled to develop the options already at the club, you sense a more experienced centre-back would be preferred by Mourinho this summer, as he'll want an instant upgrade at the base of the Red Devils side.

Even if there is serious interest in Lenglet from United, at this point he appears to be edging closer to Barcelona. According to Albert Roge of Sport, a deal for the Sevilla man has already been struck by the Catalan giants, with Lenglet poised to pen a five-year contract at the Camp Nou.