Manchester United are leading the race to sign Atletico Madrid defender Jose Maria Gimenez this summer, according to a report in Spain.
AS reports Jose Mourinho’s side are favourites to make a move for the Uruguayan centre half who has started only seven La Liga matches for Los Rojiblancos this campaign, having been hit by injury problems and fallen down the pecking order at Vicente Calderon.
The 22-year-old initially joined Atleti from Danubio in 2013 and quickly earned a reputation as one of the highest-rated defenders in football and was a regular in Diego Simeone side’s steely backline.
However, despite being touted as the long-term replacement for compatriot Diego Godin, Gimenez has often found himself behind Stefan Savic and Lucas Hernandez in team selections this campaign, prompting rumours he will seek first-team opportunities elsewhere.
The Uruguayan has a release clause of around €45m and United are considering launching a bid to activate this, with fierce rivals Liverpool also reportedly interested but behind Mourinho’s men in the running.
The report concludes that United have been in regular contact with Gimenez’s representatives in recent moves to put in the foundations of a deal.