Report: Manchester United Want Porto's Eder Militao in January Transfer Window

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 28, 2018

PORTO, PORTUGAL - NOVEMBER 06:  Eder Militao of FC Porto looks on prior to the Group D match of the UEFA Champions League between FC Porto and FC Lokomotiv Moscow at Estadio do Dragao on November 6, 2018 in Porto, Portugal.  (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Manchester United have reportedly added Porto defender Eder Militao to their list of transfer targets for January.

According to Duncan Castles of the Daily Record, the Red Devils are on the hunt for a new centre-back in the midseason window, and the Brazil international has caught the club's eye.

"[Jose] Mourinho's argument is that his defence requires a centre-back blessed both with superior defensive skills than United's current options and the personality and experience to lead and martial his back line," said Castles.

It's added that while there is also interest in the 20-year-old from both Manchester City and Everton, he's said to fit a profile that United are trying to develop in regards to future recruitment. 

According to Castles, the Red Devils will look to secure "young talent ready to develop into elite players."

Mourinho is said to be an admirer of Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, too, although the United's reluctance to spend big on a centre-back in the summer is said to have put a check on his ambitions in the winter window.

Jon Super/Associated Press

Militao only arrived at Porto ahead of the current campaign, but he's quickly made an impact in the Portuguese top flight and the UEFA Champions League. He's also versatile, as he can play as both a centre-back and a right-back.

While it's clear the youngster is a big talent, he's still in the nascent stages of his career in European football. It would be a big ask if he was to arrive in Manchester and be expected to provide an antidote to some of the defensive issues the team have been having this season.

United have kept two clean sheets in their last two games, but in 2018-19 on the whole, they've been easy for opponents to cut through.

The United Stand put the team's problems at the back into some context: 

The United Stand @UnitedStandMUFC

United have conceded 21 goals in 12 games Last season we conceded 29 in 38 games Season before 28 in 38 games All the above with the same set of defenders and midfield. Maybe Rui Faria was the real key to Mourinho's success?

If Mourinho wants to immediately resolve this issue in January, then you sense he will need an established defender that the rest of the back four can look towards. However, players like that, including Koulibaly, will cost an extortionate amount of money to bring in and clubs would be reluctant to let them go midseason.

Militao would potentially be a fine building block for United if he was to arrive, but a solution to the team's immediate defensive issues would remain a long way off regardless.