Jose Mourinho to axe four Manchester United defenders in January to sign preferred target

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Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is reportedly far from happy with his current defensive options and is plotting a revamp in that department.

United have conceded 12 goals in nine games so far this season in the Premier League, which leaves them with the worst defensive record out of the top eight teams in the table.

That’s in large part down to their heavy 4-0 defeat at Chelsea last weekend, but according to The Daily Mail, work is already underway behind the scenes to make big changes to Mourinho’s backline.

It’s claimed that Chris Smalling and Daley Blind face uncertain futures, with Mourinho far from impressed with the former after his mistake-riddled display against Chelsea in particular.

Further, Marcos Rojo and Matteo Darmian are also understood to be at risk, with the Portuguese tactician looking to sign a right-back to provide competition for Antonio Valencia, while strengthening the centre of his defence too.

The Mail claim that Roma defender Antonio Rudiger is at the top of the transfer shortlist for the Red Devils, with the German international recovering from a serious knee injury he suffered in the summer to continue to establish himself as one of the top defenders in Serie A.

The 23-year-old would command an offer of around £35m according to the report, and so Mourinho will either have to convince United to dig into their pockets again or move other players on and raise funds while simultaneously making space in the squad.

Given Eric Bailly now faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after picking up a serious knee injury, United will have to be careful in January though to avoid a scenario of being left short at the back for the remainder of the campaign.

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