Joachim Andersen Discusses Transfer Interest Amid Manchester United Rumours

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2019

UDINE, ITALY - AUGUST 26: Joachim Andersen of UC Sampdoria looks on during the serie A match between Udinese and UC Sampdoria at Stadio Friuli on August 26, 2018 in Udine, Italy.  (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)
Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Joachim Andersen says "it's too early" to focus on transfer speculation now, but the Sampdoria centre-back did leave the door open for the possibility of moving on this summer. 

The mooted Manchester United target addressed rumours also linking him with Tottenham Hotspur, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid. Denmark international Andersen told Ekstra Bladet (h/t Richard Fay of the Manchester Evening News): "I have to take the right steps at the right times. So I don't really care if it's Tottenham, Inter or Atlético Madrid."

Andersen wants a club with a "good plan," but he also said he wouldn't "mind being a season more in Sampdoria."

United may hope to turn the 22-year-old's head, with Fay noting the Red Devils are considering new centre-backs. Fellow Evening News writer Samuel Luckhurst reported back in January United had been compiling "extensive" scouting reports on the gifted young defender.

United are said to have heavily scouted Andersen.
United are said to have heavily scouted Andersen.Alessandra Tarantino/Associated Press

The Reds' interest was based on a recommendation by fitness coach Stefano Rapetti, who left Old Trafford when Jose Mourinho was replaced by caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in mid-December.

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United could still use defensive reinforcements, even though the club's fortunes have improved considerably since Solskjaer took over. The Red Devils are unbeaten in 10 matches across all competitions and have moved up to fifth in the Premier League, just two points off Chelsea and a place in the top four.

Yet for all the improvement, United have kept a clean sheet a mere four times on Solskjaer's watch. The team is still worryingly reliant on the brilliance of goalkeeper David De Gea, who was called into action frequently during 1-0 wins away to Tottenham and Leicester City.

Andersen would upgrade United's back four thanks to his combination of pace and aggression. His most impressive attribute is his comfort on the ball:

However, United's interest was driven by Mourinho. Solskjaer is likely to have his own ideas about the makeup of the Reds' defence, especially if he keeps the job beyond this season.

The Norwegian recently talked up the qualities of incumbents Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly, per The Sun's Mike McGrath, even giving the latter assurances about his importance in the team.

Spurs might have a more pressing need for Andersen. Jan Vertonghen is 31, while fellow Belgium international Toby Alderweireld's future remains uncertain, despite his recent contract extension.

Either way, the player sounds ready to welcome a bidding war this summer.

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