Manchester United have a verbal agreement in place to sign Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard this summer as they seek a squad replacement for Harry Maguire

Erik ten Hag is keen to make a last minute signing

Erik ten Hag is keen to make a last-minute signing

Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard has a ‘verbal agreement’ to join Manchester United this month.

United had informed Bayern of their intentions of signing the France international defender – who is out of contract next summer and is available at a below market value price as a result. Liverpool had shortlisted Pavard for a transfer this summer but did not advance their interest due to their priority of strengthening their midfield.

Erik ten Hag has instructed United to sign a new central defender ahead of the impending exit of former club captain Harry Maguire. He joins Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe as leaving the club this summer, with Eric Bailly also set to leave, leaving only Victor Lindelof as a backup to starting central defensive pair Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez.

Pavard started Bayern’s German Super Cup clash against RB Leipzig on Saturday but he could leave in the coming weeks to end his four-year stay in Munich. United boss Ten Hag rates the defender’s experience and versatility – comfortable playing at right-back or in the heart of defence.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot are competitive for the right-back slot, while Pavard – a World Cup winner with France in 2018 – can also thrive in that position. Aged just 27, he is seen as having multiple more seasons at the top level.

Jurgen Klopp’s side also lack depth in defence, with Northern Ireland international Conor Bradley – who spent last season on loan at Bolton – primarily the back-up to Trent Alexander-Arnold. There are doubts over the long-term suitability of Joe Gomez and Joel Matip in Klopp’s backline.

Pavard is into the final year of his Bayern contract with a report earlier this summer in Kicker outlining Liverpool’s interest in the player. BILD’s Christian Falk subsequently claimed that Liverpool were in talks with the defender’s agents – but no formal approach was forthcoming.

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Pavard could leave Bayern Munich this summer with his contract expiring next year Pavard could leave Bayern Munich this summer with his contract expiring next year (


Harry Langer/Getty Images)

The Reds now appear to have missed out on the move entirely as Sky Sports in Germany report that Pavard has a verbal agreement with United. It is claimed that it is now up to the two clubs to agree a transfer fee.

Pavard joined Bayern from Stuttgart in 2019 and established himself as a regular player in Munich, clocking up 163 first-team appearances. He helped the club to the Champions League title in his debut season and to the Bundesliga title in each of his four campaigns at the club. He also offers an offensive threat – netting seven goals last term.

This is the same tactic that United used this summer in their deals to sign Mason Mount, Andre Onana and Rasmus Hojlund. An agreement was found with the player’s representatives before formal negotiations regarding a fee with the selling club – who were informed of their interest and intention to move for those players.

That was partly a result of United agreeing a transfer fee with Barcelona last summer to sign Frenkie de Jong, who then refused to leave the Catalan club. Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo was among the alternatives to Pavard that United are considering, should a deal fall through.

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