Rio Ferdinand tells Man Utd to sign 'unreal' Barcelona star

Tom Weber
Tom Weber
  • Updated: 27 Oct 2023 20:24 BST
  • 4 min read
Rio Ferdinand, Man Utd badge, BT Sport
© ProShots

Though Manchester United's January plans may have changed due to the re-emergence of Harry Maguire, the club are still looking to bring in a long-term stalwart for the defence.

With Raphael Varane struggling with constant fitness issues, Lisandro Martinez having had two surgeries on the same foot this calendar year, Maguire still likely to leave and Victor Lindelof on an expiring contract, the centre-back position continues to give Erik ten Hag headaches - and this is unlikely to change anytime soon.

Article continues under the video

The Red Devils will be in the market for a central defender eventually, if not in January, then certainly in the summer. In the previous transfer window, Ten Hag targeted Jean-Clair Todibo, while Benfica's Antonio Silva has also been linked.

READ: Man Utd on alert as crisis club could be FORCED to sell top talent

Rio Ferdinand, however, has two different defenders in mind who he believes would massively strengthen his former side's backline.

Ronald Araujo
© ProShots - Ronald Araujo

Araujo and Danso?

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, the Red Devils legend suggested Barcelona's Ronald Araujo and RC Lens' Kevin Danso - who already has Premier League experience after a loan stint at Southampton - as defensive options that should be looked at.

"The boy at Lens [Danso], there's one there, he's good. The Uruguayan boy at Barcelona - Araujo. Whether he's gettable or not, I think he's brilliant. He's an unreal centre-half. He has every attribute to be perfect for the Premier League. I'd probably say he's the standout, but whether he's gettable or not, I don't know."

READ: Man Utd 'going backwards' under Ten Hag despite improved results

"I've always said this," Ferdinand continued, "to be a successful team, you need that foundation of a solid defence and to be able to pick similar players. I think you look at the teams that have won recently - Liverpool and Man City - they've had consistency in their backlines of players featuring, especially in important stages of the season. And maybe United haven't been afforded that."

Never miss the next big transfer!

Get the latest transfer insights and analyses directly in your mailbox.