Manchester United look set to splash the cash this summer, with a host of new players expected at Old Trafford ahead of next season.
One of the priorities will be a new central defender to replace the outgoing Nemanja Vidic, who has agreed to sign for Inter Milan.
Given the no-nonsense Serb’s authority over the side in his time in England, a player of considerable ability will be needed to take his place.
The odds on who will replace Vidic are as open as those for Cheltenham 2014 online, with no clear favourite to fill the outgoing skipper’s boots.
Could one of these three be the answer?
The Germany international has been a key part of the Borussia Dortmund side that has challenged for honours at both domestic and European level in recent seasons.
Although suffering from injury concerns this season, Hummels is widely expected to take to the pitch for Germany in their opening fixture in the World Cup in Brazil.
Hummels has an enviable blend of physical attributes and a strong reading of the game, with Barcelona linked with a move for the Dortmund man recently.
This giant defender has created quite a stir over the last 18 months, with Mangala a rock at the heart of the Porto defence.
He has been given his bow at international level for France and is being spoken of as the next star to leave the current Portuguese champions for one of Europe’s top clubs.
United could face a challenge to sign the 23-year-old, who is fast on his feet, dominant in the air but also susceptible to a mistake at times.
An experienced defender having plied his trade in both France and Italy, Benatia has been a revelation since joining Roma from Udinese in the summer.
The Morocco international has been one of the main reasons for the Stadio Olimpico side’s Serie A challenge and is already being linked with a move to some of Europe’s elite sides.
At 26 Benatia has his best years ahead of him but has plenty of experience and authority to potential offer United.
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