Andreas Granqvist: 'Very Hard to Say No' to a Club Like Manchester United

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistNovember 10, 2018

SAMARA, RUSSIA - JULY 7: Andreas Granqvist of Sweden during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Quarter Final match between Sweden and England at Samara Arena on July 7, 2018 in Samara, Russia. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Veteran Swedish defender Andreas Granqvist has said he would seriously consider a move to Manchester United, if the Red Devils approached Helsingborgs IF for his signature in January.

According to Aaron Stokes of the Daily Star, the centre-back said he would find it difficult to say "no" and would be tempted by a switch to play for United manager Jose Mourinho, if the coach follows up on reported interest.

Granqvist said:

"Should a club like Manchester United show an interest in January, it will be very hard to say no. It's great to even be mentioned with a big club like Manchester United, it's incredibly flattering. It's a sign that I did a very good World Cup. I was incredibly pleased with my performances in 2018. We'll see what happens. I do not think it's so great, but there's certainly something behind it. Then we'll see how much interest is in January."

Sergei Grits/Associated Press

Granqvist has partnered Victor Lindelof at international level, and the United defender has played his way back into the starting XI at Old Trafford.

Per Expressen (h/t Charlotte Duncker of the Manchester Evening News), Granqvist revealed there was "certainly an interest" in his availability from United in October, after the 33-year-old impressed at Russia 2018.

United have leaked goals this term, conceding 18 goals in the Premier League, which is more than Wolverhampton Wanderers, Newcastle United and Crystal Palace.

The Theatre of Dreams has been more like a place of nightmares since pre-season, but the UEFA Champions League win at Juventus has offered fresh optimism.

Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

Granqvist would be a peculiar signing, and despite the lack of defensive quality in the Red Devils squad, Mourinho has better centre-backs than the Swede.

The elder statesman could provide calmness and experience at the back but lacks the pace needed to compete at the highest level.

Granqvist was the Swedish player of the year in 2017. However, United need a world-class centre-back to join their ranks in January.

It's notoriously difficult to sign the best players in the winter, and if Mourinho cannot find a top defender, he should wait until the summer for the right man.

Sunday's Manchester derby will be Mourinho's biggest test this season, and his defence will need to have its best game to avoid an embarrassing scoreline.

Manchester City are flying at present, and United's back four will not be allowed to make a single error in a high-paced encounter at the Etihad Stadium.