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Manchester United maintain interest in José Giménez

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The Atlético Madrid defender has a €65 million buyout clause and remains high on José Mourinho’s list of targets

PSV Eindhoven v Club Atletico de Madrid - UEFA Champions League Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

José Mourinho needs a centre-half. Anyone who has watched Phil Jones and Chris Smalling In Manchester United’s defence this season will agree with that. Eric Bailly has turned into the player United thought they were getting when they signed him last summer and it seems Ed Woodward and co. will return to LaLiga for his long-term partner this summer.

José Giménez has not progressed as he might have liked under Diego Simeone in that he has only played in nine league games this season. The longest run of games he has under his belt is four when he played against Eibar, Real Betis, Athletic Club and Alaves, and the 22-year-old has been in and out of the team due to injury or poor form all season. He has played just twice in Atlético’s last nine games and he only played 90 minutes in one of those games.

Simeone’s other options

Stefan Savić’s struggles early in the season meant that Simeone was screaming out for someone to come and grab the spot beside Diego Godín in the heart of his defence. Lucas Hernández himself had disciplinary problems that included court dates on the same day as a key Champions League game against Bayer Leverkusen in Germany. The position was there for Giménez to claim, and while he has been preferred when fit, he simply has not been fit enough, and he always runs the risk of making a colossal error.

There is a belief that either Savić or Giménez will be moved on next season in order to allow Lucas to grow into a first choice starter alongside Godín. This would give more weight to the rumours that Gimenez is set to depart as his release clause of €65 million is the highest and he has no progressed as many had expected.

Savic might also be a safer bet as a back-up and tends to stay healthier than Joséma.