Despite talk suggesting otherwise, it seems as though Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is desperate to strengthen his defensive options this month.
Whether it’s the argument that the form of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo has changed Mourinho’s mind or that United can make do until the end of the season, speculation linking the Premier League giants with a move for a defender isn’t going away.
According to The Sun, they are set to return for Roma star Kostas Manolas and are ready to launch a sensational £47.6m bid for the Greek international.
Since moving to the Italian capital from Olympiakos in 2014, the 25-year-old has improved and matured into one of the top defenders in Europe as he has formed an integral part of Roma’s drive for silverware.
However, if true, this offer will test the Giallorossi’s resolve in a big way although the report claims that they will try to hold out for £52m and push United to make the final move to seal the deal.
It’s an expensive transfer for United, but if Mourinho is confident that Manolas can solve his defensive headache once and for all, then perhaps it’s a sensible one given the resources at the club will make it financially viable.
With Eric Bailly away on international duty this month at the Africa Cup of Nations and after Rojo picked up an injury in the FA Cup win over Reading at the weekend, Mourinho still has Chris Smalling and Daley Blind able to step in.
Nevertheless, it looks as though he wants a long-term partner for Bailly, and as he continues to strengthen the spine of his team, it remains to be seen if United can make a breakthrough with regards to Manolas and take the Greek defender to Old Trafford before the end of the month.