The England international is out for at least the next three weeks, leaving Chris Smalling as the first-choice centre-back. The former Fulham man put in a good performance against Tottenham on Saturday, but manager Louis van Gaal still admitted afterwards that he is keen to sign a centre-back if the right quality can be found [Manchester Evening News].
“We have three (right-sided) centre backs,” said van Gaal, “we have Smalling, Jones and McNair but if he is much better than them then it is possible. We go for the best players and it has to be possible.”
The Dutchman also revealed the severity of Jones’s injury.
“(Jones’ injury) was very peculiar because he had the whole week tightness in his calf and he kept training but we have a very good doctor I think because this doctor discovered a minor thrombosis,” he continued, “We don’t take the risk so we go to a second opinion to a specialist in the hospital and that was yesterday.
“That was after my press conference so I couldn’t say anything. A specialist has said we have a new medical treatment and we have to keep him out for three weeks and we have to watch him.”
The Red Devils are thought to be weighing up a £35 million move for Otamendi as a result [Fichajes via Metro], which may be enough to entice the Spanish side into selling. The 27-year-old was a key part of a defence which conceded just 32 goals in La Liga last season, and could bring that same solidity to Old Trafford.
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United are interested in the Argentina international after it was revealed that they are likely to miss out on Real Madrid ace Sergio Ramos. The 29-year-old is set to sign a contract extension with Los Merengues, according to El Chiringuito TV, a sports show on La Sexta.
— El Chiringuito TV (@elchiringuitotv) August 10, 2015
Van Gaal saw his back line rely on the heroics of David De Gea last season, but may not be able to do so again this time round. The 24-year-old had to be left out of their game against Spurs due to rumours linking him with Real [Daily Mail], and as such it will be important that the Premier League side strengthen their defence.