The 23-year-old French international has been strongly linked with a £35 million move to the Premier League this summer. Media reports suggested that Manchester City had made the Porto ace their No.1 transfer target, however it now appears that he would rather join United than the champions.
City have apparently switched their attention to Roma defender Mehdi Benatia, who can he had for around £17 million, or half of what Mangala would have cost.
If United can land Mangala, and Borussia Dortmund centre-half Mats Hummels, then United’s new boss, Louis van Gaal, will have a new defensive partnership that could mirror the Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic one that dominated the Premier League for so long.
Add in Southampton full-back Luke Shaw, who will end up at the Theater of Dreams also, and the Manchester United back four will be almost completely rebuilt this summer.
left unsaid at the moment is what the arrivals of Mangala, Hummels and Shaw would mean to the trio of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans, three central defenders who have failed to step until the boots of Rio and Vidic. Smalling and Vidic are part of the England squad at the World Cup and it would not surprise me to see at least one of them be sold this summer, if the two new central halts arrive as expected.