JOSE MOURINHO must spend £35million if he wants to solve his left-back dilemma with Augsburg’s Philipp Max.
The 24-year-old, who ranked second in the Bundesliga with 12 assists last term, is the latest to be lined up in a position that has become a trouble spot for United in recent seasons.
Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Timothy Fosu-Mensah have all failed to nail down the left-back role at Old Trafford since five-time Premier League champion Patrice Evra departed for Juventus in 2014.
Towards the end of last season converted winger Ashley Young became the preferred choice in the role, with his performances earning him a spot in Gareth Southgate’s England World Cup squad.
Max spent time with Schalke and Bayern Munich’s youth academies before turning pro, and his breakout season with Augsburg could see the club demand £35m for his services, according to Bild.
The club finished 12th last season, their seventh consecutive year in the Bundesliga after being promoted to the top flight for the first time in 2011.
Only Thomas Mueller provided more Bundesliga assists than Max in 2017-18, with 14.
United’s defence were the second-best in the Premier League last season with 28 goals conceded, just one more than champions and fierce rivals Manchester City.
But Max’s evident attacking ability would add a further dimension to Mourinho’s side, able to create from both flanks with right-back Antonio Valencia already a potent threat going forward.
Max won silver with the German under-23s team at the 2016 Rio Olympics but is yet to represent the senior side, with Cologne’s Jonas Hector and Marvin Plattenhardt of Hertha preferred in Joachim Low’s squad for this summer’s World Cup.