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Man Utd should target Bologna star Lucumi rather than Branthwaite

Manchester United should consider an approach for Bologna star Jhon Lucumi amidst the ongoing transfer saga involving Everton ace Jarrad Branthwaite.

United are focused on landing a new centre-back with Raphael Varane set to depart when his contract expires at the end of the month.

Branthwaite is the Red Devils’ priority target, but they are a long way off finalising an agreement with the Toffees.

United have offered to pay £43 million including add-ons for the 21-year-old, but the Merseyside outfit have refused to lower their £70m price tag.

TuttoMercatoWeb claims that Lucumi is in United’s sights following a fantastic Serie A campaign with Bologna where they finished fifth.

The Colombian has been touted to join a bigger European club despite Bologna’s Champions League qualification and could be available on the cheap.

Lucumi would be a better acquisition than Branthwaite

The 26-year-old is a left-footed central defender, but he has the ability to play in both centre-back roles.

He predominantly played from the right side last season, forming a superb partnership with Riccardo Calafiori, who has also been linked with United.

The Colombian won 65 percent of his duels with an average of 1.7 tackles, 2.1 clearances and 4.7 ball recoveries. He lost possession on just five occasions per outing.

His most exceptional statistic was his distribution. He had an accuracy of 93.4 percent in Serie A, making him the best passer in the division ahead of Inter Milan’s Stefan de Vrij.

United should consider a move for Lucumi if they pull out of a deal for Branthwaite. The former is four years older but has proved himself at the top level.

He could be signed for a low price. Bologna are looking for at least £15m, but the figure could rise if there is plenty of interest from the Premier League.

By contrast, Branthwaite is still learning his trade. He has strong defensive attributes but needs to improve his distribution. He completed only 80 percent of his passes last season.

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