It’s quite clear Manchester United are interested in adding another quality centre back to their squad, among other needs they might have. A new name on their alleged shortlist is Davide Astori from Cagliari.
While Ezequiel Garay has been the popular name for nearly an entire season, according to Sky Sports Italia, the 26-year old central defender, who has been capped five times for the national team and last appeared in the Confederations Cup is being considered as an immediate signing.
Astori has been with Cagliari since 2008, growing up through the Milan youth system, but never playing a league match for the Rossoneri, spending a couple of seasons on loan with lower league clubs.
Astori cost Cagliari €5 million over the years (initially purchasing 50% of his rights) and with his contract two years from expiring, it’s going to take something along the lines of €11-15 million to sign the player, although that still would be a lot cheaper than the prices asked by Benfica for their players, including Garay.
This isn’t the first time Astori was on the verge of leaving Cagliari (depending on how true the Manchester United story is). Last summer Spartak Moscow offered €15 million, an offer which was accepted by the club, but Astori himself turned down the transfer, explaining the decision by saying he wants to stay at Cagliari and achieve his goals with the club.
However, there’s a difference when a Russian club and Manchester United come calling: It also generates a higher transfer fee, and it obviously helps change the minds of players like Astori, who might be blinded by the lights of one of the biggest clubs in Europe (in name, not in quality at the moment) and forget about whatever goals he planned on achieving in Italy.
Astori has played in 140 Serie A matches for Cagliari, scoring 3 goals.