Man Utd enter Benoit Badiashile ‘transfer talks’ as they eye new centre-back

Manchester United have entered negotiations to sign Monaco defender Benoit Badiashile, according to reports from France.

19-year-old Badiashile made 16 appearances in Ligue 1 this season and is considered one of Europe's most promising young centre-backs.

United are understood to have been monitoring the Monaco academy product for some years, while Bayer Leverkusen and Real Madrid are also interested.

A left-footed centre-back, Badiashile could form a solid partnership with right-footer Harry Maguire at Old Trafford – and the move would be in keeping with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's plan to assemble a youthful Red Devils squad.

However, it will take a bid of more than €15million (£13.5million) to prise the France U19 international from the Stade Louis II, as Monaco turned down an offer of that value from Leverkusen on Friday.

That's according to French outlet TF1, who add the German club are "confident" of landing Badiashile's signature but face competition from United and Los Blancos.

The Red Devils are already in talks with Monaco over a fee for the defender, while Spanish publication AS claim Real have made contact with Badiashile's representatives.

Centre-back is one of the priority areas Solskjaer is targeting for recruitment this summer, with United unconvincing in defence at times last season.

Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly has been linked with the switch to Old Trafford, but it would take a huge bid of £81million to prise him from Stadio San Paolo.

Though the fee is improbable, United's finances were boosted by the club securing Champions League qualification as the season drew to a close last weekend.

And Solskjaer hinted his side's third-place finish may prove crucial for his transfer plans.

"Well that's another part of Champions League – financial gain, but that's not in my head," he told Sky Sports after the victory over Leicester.

"The club know what I feel we need and we're going to try to pursue it and let's see where we end up."

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