£100m pair on Man Utd's 'radar' as Erik ten Hag eyes defensive reinforcements

Manchester United will change things up at the back with Erik ten Hag keen to lower the age profile in his squad.
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Manchester United look to be prioritising defensive additions in the summer with reports suggesting they are 'keeping tabs' on Bayer Leverkusen pair Edmond Tapsoba and Jeremie Frimpong.

United were linked with both defenders last summer but decided to prioritise additions elsewhere, with Erik ten Hag already well-stocked at the back and in more urgent need of signings throughout midfield and upfront. The need for defensive reinforcements was pushed back but will become a key point of focus ahead of next season.

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The Manchester Evening News reports that interest in Tapsoba and Frimpong has remained throughout what has been an incredible season at Bayer Leverkusen. And Ten Hag could move for the pair, valued at a combined £100million, this summer.

Leverkusen have enjoyed an unbelievable campaign so far, with a 21-game unbeaten run leaving them top of the Bundesliga. On Saturday, they beat Bayern Munich 3-0 to open up a five-point gap at the top, with Tapsoba and Frimpong central to their success.

Tapsoba started the game in central defence and kept £100m Bayern signing Harry Kane quiet - the former Tottenham man had just one shot in 90 minutes, which was off target. Frimpong was initially dropped for the more defensively-minded Josip Stanisic but came off the bench at right-wing and scored Leverkusen's final goal.

Frimpong is now on eight goals for the season across all competitions, with nine assists to boot. The 23-year-old is widely regarded as one of Europe's most exciting young full-backs and is on the radar of several top clubs.

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Tapsoba and Frimpong are both contracted at Leverkusen until 2028 and so neither will come cheap, particularly given that money will come into the Bundesliga club through Champions League qualification and so the need to sell will not be as great.

United's need for defensive reinforcements this summer comes amid growing concerns regarding the longevity of current options. Three of Ten Hag's five options at centre-back are 30 or above, with Raphael Varane and Jonny Evans both set to leave as free agents this summer.

Diogo Dalot has been excellent in recent weeks but back-up Aaron Wan-Bissaka has attracted plenty of transfer interest and could be allowed to leave, given he is one of few players who could bring in a decent fee. The right-back’s contract was extended for a year last month but the club have done similar with other players in order to protect value.