With speculation on-going about being a future Manchester United boss, Jose Mourinho has reportedly identified a group of five defensive players he would be interested in signing.
The Portuguese tactician has been linked with replacing Louis van Gaal since his departure from Chelsea in December, although the Dutchman continues to fight for his position as United have shown signs of turning things around over the past week or so.
Whether or not the former Ajax and Barcelona boss survives until the end of the campaign remains to be seen, but talk of Mourinho arriving at Old Trafford continues in the meantime with a change in the summer perhaps the most likely scenario if one is made at all.
However, it is also suggested that the 53-year-old has already started looking at possible targets to sign in his next job, and it appears as though he isn’t particularly impressed with the current defensive options at United.
The Mirror have collected reports from across Europe, which suggest that Mourinho is interested in John Stones, Marc Bartra, Aymeric Laporte, Marquinhos and Raphael Varane with a view of signing at least two or three of those individuals to bolster the Red Devils squad.
Provided that the rumours are true, it will certainly be a concern for the likes of Chris Smalling and Daley Blind who have been permanent fixtures for Van Gaal this season, and have more often than not produced resolute defensive displays.
However, Mourinho will naturally have his own vision and plans for the squad if he does arrive in Manchester in the coming months, and he has several players in mind to bring in immediately.