Seamus Coleman to Manchester United: Everton target defender to replace Irishman
Roberto Martinez is ready to move for Leeds defender Sam Byram if Manchester United step up their interest in Everton full-back Seamus Coleman.
With United manager Louis van Gaal determined to recruit an experienced right-back this summer, Republic of Ireland international Coleman has re-emerged as a target following DanI Alves’s decision to extend his contract at Barcelona.
Everton are prepared to resist any offers for Coleman, who has become a fixture in the Goodison Park team since arriving in a £60,000 move from Sligo Rovers in January 2009.
The 26-year-old was rewarded with a new five-year contract last summer and, having successfully resisted United’s attempts to sign left-back Leighton Baines in August 2013, Everton are ready to fight to keep Coleman.
But with United ready to step up their player recruitment over the next fortnight prior to their departure for a four-game pre-season tour of the United States, Everton have identified Leeds youngster Byram as a potential replacement should Coleman make it clear that he wants to leave the club.
Manchester City and Arsenal were both linked with £10million bids for Byram following his breakthrough into the Leeds first team as a teenager under Neil Warnock during the 2012-13 season.
Southampton failed with a £4.5million bid for the 21-year-old last summer, when Leeds owner Massimo Cellino rejected the offer and demanded at least £8m for the Essex-born player.
But with Byram entering the final year of his contract, the promising defender, who can also play in right midfield, is likely to be available at a more realistic price following Leeds’s failure to challenge for promotion from the Championship last season.