Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images
According to Simon Mullock of the Sunday Mirror, Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho believes the Brazilian is the ideal man to solve the left-back issues United have endured so far this season.
Mullock’s piece notes the longstanding interest of Chelsea, while also suggesting the Italian champions value the left-back at around £53 million.
“United’s interest is unlikely to be firmed up until the summer but they could be prompted to enter the market earlier than planned if [Blues manager Antonio] Conte is able to convince his Chelsea bosses that the 26-year-old is worth the money during the current transfer window,” Mullock added.
GLYN KIRK/Getty Images
The Red Devils have had numerous players attempt to establish themselves at left-back this season, although there’s been no standout candidate in the berth yet.
Earlier in the campaign, Ashley Young filled in well, while Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian were also handed opportunities in the position. Most recently Luke Shaw has shone in the role, having been out of favour at the start of the season.
As noted by journalist Liam Canning, the former Southampton man has benefited from a recent run of games:
Liam Canning @LiamPaulCanning
Luke Shaw has been reliable and consistent in his performances over the Christmas period. Finally getting game time and looks great for it. Would love to see him kick on now and elevate himself to the next level.
Nevertheless, it would be no surprise to see United move for another left-back, as Mourinho has evidently had reservations about Shaw in the past.
Sandro would certainly offer something extra in the position, as he’s been exceptional since arriving at Juventus from Porto in 2015. At times, he’s been the best left-back on the planet.
Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images
The 26-year-old has so much to offer. Defensively, he’s tenacious and his relentless energy sees him cover his centre-backs in addition to tracking runners vigilantly. Sandro’s industry also sees him push forward regularly and make an impression in the final third.
While he’s not been at full throttle this season, these numbers from WhoScored.com show the type of multifaceted footballer Sandro is:
Chelsea have supposedly baulked at Juventus’ rumoured £60m asking price for Alex Sandro Are the Blues right to reject the chance to match the Old Lady’s valuation of the Brazilian? The stats certainly suggest so — https://t.co/ZCw6Vv1u1R https://t.co/nDt0ar1LcO
Chelsea’s interest in the Brazilian makes sense, as the Blues also lack cover in the left-back position behind the excellent Marcos Alonso.
United have the financial muscle to match Chelsea should they launch an offer for the player in January or in the summer. According to Mullock, Paris Saint-Germain have also showcased an interest as of late, too, which may be a big concern for the two Premier League sides.
Journalist Arjun Pradeep suggested Sandro may benefit from some fresh challenges, given his fluctuating form:
Arjun Pradeep @IndianRegista
Marcelo and Alex Sandro were two of the best left backs in the world just six months back. They are currently nowhere close to where they were. Both their problems is not because of a lack in quality but stimulus/focus.
If United are eyeing a new left-back, then they should be looking to bring in someone who would be a major upgrade on a weak area of the squad. And in Sandro, they’d potentially be getting one of the best.
Still, any deal would be far from straightforward if Conte’s Chelsea are sniffing around and especially if PSG muscle their way into the battle, too. Plus, there will surely be a reluctance on Juve’s part to cash in on a footballer who’d be so difficult to replace.