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Jose Mourinho.

Jose Mourinho has three defenders in mind this summer for Manchester United

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After Manchester United lost 1-0 to relegation-threatened Newcastle at the weekend, they now sit 16 points behind neighbours Manchester City in the race for the Premier League title.

Of course, the defeat at St James' Park is a hard one for United to swallow, but it seems as if two men, in particular, are being blamed for the loss.

Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have been hung out to dry in several quarters of the media and it has been reported that Jose Mourinho has had enough of the England pair.

In their defence - excuse the pun - United failed to score against the Magpies at the weekend, too.

The weird thing about these reports is the fact that United have the best defence in the Premier League right now. Nobody can better the 19 goals they have conceded in 27 games this season, but that's not good enough for Mourinho.

The Mirror is reporting that the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss has three names on his shortlist as he prepares to overhaul his backline.

According to The Mirror, he first man is Tottenham's Toby Alderweireld. The Belgian defender has been a revelation since joining Spurs in 2015 and the 28-year-old's deal includes a one-year extension which is scheduled to be triggered in the summer of 2019.

However, his contract also features a £25million release clause which can be activated in the summer of 2019, albeit no later than 14 days before deadline day. if Mourinho is prepared to wait a year, the option is there.

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Raphael Varane of Real Madrid is a name that Mourinho has been linked with before, but it's not known whether the Frenchman has any interest in working with his former boss.

Finally, Leicester's Harry Maguire has emerged as an option for the Red Devils are impressing at the heart of the Foxes defence since his £17 million move last summer and he has won three England caps in that time.

Fans might be a tad confused with Mourinho's targets, especially seeing as the club splashed £40 million on Victor Lindelof last summer and Eric Baily, despite several injury problems, only joined for £30 million the season prior.

Has he given up on all four men already?

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