After missing out on both transfer targets this summer, Man Utd could reportedly see Toby Alderweireld and Jerome Boateng no longer on the market when January comes around.
As per the Metro, the Red Devils were paired with a swoop for £75m-rated Alderweireld until the last day of the summer transfer window, while The Guardian added that Boateng, valued at at least £44.6m, was also on their transfer radar.
Neither of course arrived at Old Trafford, which was arguably a relief to many fans given the number of options that Jose Mourinho already has in that department with Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo all capable of playing at centre-half.
Whether or not Mourinho may choose to revisit the interest in either player in January or perhaps next summer remains to be seen, but the Portuguese tactician may not even get the opportunity.
Although the transfer window has closed in England, it is still open for business around most of Europe, including in France and Germany.
With that in mind, The Mirror claim that while Boateng could potentially join Paris Saint-Germain, Alderweireld has now been paired with a move to Bayern to fill the void that the German international may leave behind at the Bavarian giants.
In turn, both players linked with a Man Utd move could now find themselves moving on before the end of the month and before United even get a chance to decide whether or not to make a fresh approach.
Given how the rumours over defensive reinforcements refused to go away over the summer, it may well come as a major blow for Mourinho if these two experienced stalwarts are off the market by the time the January window opens for business.