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Man United must listen to former stalwart in centre-back search

| 19.07.2014

Even a pre-schooler could work out why Manchester United are chasing defensive reinforcements this summer, but who they should buy is a far greater cause for debate.

Since the end of last season the Red Devils have been linked to a number of centre-backs as their long time defensive bedrock, Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, both set sail on a retirement tour with other clubs.

Obviously with Louis van Gaal now in charge at Old Trafford, rumours of Dutch defenders coming in to bolster the United defence are fashionable, and Stefan de Vrij’s name certainly fits that bill.

Similarly, a move for Mats Hummels is said to be likely given the German’s continued excellence in the heart of the Borussia Dortmund backline.

Whoever they plump for though, listening to a man who knew a thing or two about defending for Man Utd could be a sensible strategy.

Paul McGrath donned the famous red shirt between 1982 and 1989 and believes a different, far less hip name should be at the forefront of Van Gaal’s thinking.

Speaking to TalkSport, McGrath pinpointed Aston Villa’s Ron Vlaar as the player United should be doing their upmost to sign, and it’s a suggestion well worth looking in to.

Vlaar was a reliable fixture of Van Gaal’s Dutch defence at the recent World Cup and has been a shining light for Villa since arriving in the Premier League, despite the midlands club’s struggles in the division.

A proven leader, the 29-year-old would provide much-needed experience to a youthful backline now assembled at Old Trafford and would certainly boost the club’s 11/2-rated Premier League chances.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.