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Frustrated Jose Mourinho switches focus to £32.5m star to solve Manchester United defensive issue

Manchester United have reportedly submitted a £32.5m offer for Roma defender Kostas Manolas after a lack of progress in their pursuit of Benfica ace Victor Lindelof.

Defensive reinforcements seem to be one of the major priorities for Jose Mourinho in January, with The Sun reporting on how Lindelof had topped their list of transfer targets.

However, with no real progress being made in negotiations, it’s claimed that United have gone back to Manolas having previously been interested in him last summer.

On that occasion, Roma had no intention to sell as he forms a pivotal part of their future, but with a new big-money offer on the table, it remains to be seen whether or not their resolve can be tested.

As noted in the report, it had been suggested that the form of Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones had forced Mourinho into a rethink as to whether or not he really needed another defender in his squad.

With Eric Bailly one of the first names on the team-sheet, his absence will be felt during the course of the Africa Cup of Nations, and should any of Rojo, Jones or Chris Smalling pick up an injury, it would leave the Red Devils light as they continue to compete on various fronts.

As for Manolas, the Greek international has proven his class since moving to Rome in 2014, and has established himself as one of the top centre-halves in Europe with his game well suited to the Premier League given his strength, aerial ability and speed.

With the move for Lindelof losing momentum, Roma could now expect a phone call as they hope to avoid losing one of their key players in the January transfer window.

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