Report: Manchester United Considering Bid for Bordeaux Defender Pablo

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2018

Bordeaux's Brazilian defender Pablo celebrates after scoring during the French L1 football match between FC Girondins de Bordeaux and AS Saint-Etienne at the Matmut Atlantique stadium in Bordeaux, southwestern France on December 5, 2018. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP)        (Photo credit should read NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images)
NICOLAS TUCAT/Getty Images

Manchester United are reportedly eyeing an approach for Bordeaux centre-back Pablo, with the Red Devils ready to strengthen their defence in January.

The Brazil international has emerged as a potential target for United manager Jose Mourinho as the Old Trafford giants prepare to enter the transfer market.

Fox Sports Brazil (h/t The Sun's Dave Fraser) reported the 27-year-old could be ready for a shock move to the Premier League after initially struggling in France.

Pablo returned to Brazilian football on loan at Corinthians to complete a successful spell, winning the Campeonato Paulista and Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A in 2017.

The defender made his way back to his parent club and has impressed in Ligue 1 and Europe this term.

MILTON KEYNES, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 20: Pablo of Brazil in action during the International Friendly match between Brazil and Cameroon at Stadium mk on November 20, 2018 in Milton Keynes, England. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)
Pete Norton/Getty Images

Pablo, who won his first cap for the Selecao in October, is an imposing player and just the type of defender Mourinho traditionally favours and trusts.

However, the Brazilian has technical prowess and would help United control the game from the heart of the back four.

Per Fox Sports Brazil (h/t Metro), United remain interested in Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly, with the defender described as Mourinho's "top target."

However, the Serie A team's €150 million (£135 million) valuation has pushed the Red Devils to review other corners of the marketplace.

Koulibaly is considered one of the best centre-backs in the world, but his price tag is sure to make executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward think twice.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 11: Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli and Georginio Wijnaldum of Liverpool during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool and SSC Napoli at Anfield on December 11, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matt
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Pablo is under contract at Bordeaux, and any offer would have to be substantial in January.

United are desperate to revamp their back four and need a new leader to patrol in central defence.

The collective of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof and Marcos Rojo have failed in various partnerships over the past two seasons, and Mourinho has rightfully identified he needs to make changes to protect goalkeeper David De Gea.

The Spain No. 1 remains the best stopper in the world, but United have still conceded 26 goals in 28 Premier League games.

Bordeaux's Brazilian defender Pablo (L) vies with Paris Saint-Germain's Cameroonian forward Eric Choupo-Moting during the French L1 football match Bordeaux vs Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), on December 2, 2018 in Bordeaux, southwestern France. (Photo by ROMAI
ROMAIN PERROCHEAU/Getty Images

Pablo will be largely unknown to most United fans, and after the significant sums spent on Bailly and Lindelof, supporters will demand a bigger name.

Koulibaly crashed out of the UEFA Champions League with Napoli at Anfield on Tuesday after a 1-0 defeat to Liverpool, but the defender would be eligible for Europe's biggest competition if he arrived at United in January after a recent change of rules.

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