Report: Man United Eyes Southampton Defender Cedric Soares As to Antonio Valencia

Manchester United could swoop for Cedric Soares as competition for places at full-back, if Southampton are relegated from the Premier League.
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Manchester United could swoop for Cedric Soares as competition for places at full-back, if Southampton are relegated from the Premier League.

That is according to the Mirror, who has claimed that Jose Mourinho wants to bring his Portuguese compatriot to Old Trafford, should the Saints drop into the Championship at the end of the season.

Soares has been a leading light for Southampton over the past three seasons but (as a seasoned international) would not be tempted to stick around on the south coast and play in England's second tier.

That would allow a number of top flight clubs to potentially poach him away, but it would appear that United are front and centre of any battle to land the right-back in the close season.

Veteran full-back Valencia has been relied upon heavily once again by United this term, with only two other senior members of the Red Devils' squad playing more minutes than the Ecuador international's haul of 2,563.

At 32 years of age too, Valencia is entering the twilight of his career and United will need to start looking to find an heir to his throne fairly soon.

Soares has plenty of Premier League experience and has amassed 93 appearances in all competitions for Southampton since a July 2015 transfer from Sporting CP, but could bring his time at St. Mary's to an end if the Saints fail to haul themselves to safety in the final month of the campaign.

Southampton lie four points clear of 17th position and need to turn their form around quickly if they are to maintain their stay in the top division for the 2018/19 season.

Soares, who helped Portugal lift their first major international trophy at Euro 2016, could be available for around £20m and, with United potentially letting a number of first teamers depart this summer, would certainly have the funds to prise him away from his current employers.

Mourinho is also believed to be eyeing midfield reinforcements ahead of next term, with the likes of Shakhtar Donetsk's Fred and Napoli's Jorginho thought to be on his list of targets.