Manchester United are monitoring Southampton centre-back Dejan Lovren ahead of a potential summer transfer move, according to the Daily Mail.

Nemanja Vidic recently confirmed that he will leave Old Trafford when his contract expires in the summer, electing to join Serie A club Inter Milan after an eight-year spell with Manchester United.

Rio Ferdinand is also out of contract at the end of the season, meaning the experienced duo, who have enjoyed a solid partnership with the club since 2006, may both be unavailable next season. That leaves David Moyes frantically searching for a replacement.

While Moyes is hoping to add some attacking flair to the Manchester United team this summer, reinforcing a growingly-fragile defence will be a priority and Lovren has emerged as a potential target.

The Croatian only joined Southampton in the summer but as thoroughly impressed under Mauricio Pochettino and scored the late equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford earlier this season.

But Manchester United never set out to scout Lovren and only started to notice him while checking up on long-term target Luke Shaw. With United scouts regularly in the stands at St Mary's this term, they have been able to deliver a detailed report on Lovren to Moyes.

As Southampton are looking to establish themselves as a top 10 Premier League club it is unlikely that they will entertain the idea of parting with the 24-year-old. However, if Manchester United choose to formalise their interest Lovren will seriously consider leaving the south coast.

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