Manchester United could make a January swoop for Stoke City centre-half Ryan Shawcross, according to the Daily Star.
It's been suggested that the Red Devils, who have struggled defensively under Louis van Gaal this season, are ready to turn their attentions to Shawcross who previously starred at the the club as a youngster.
In fact, it appears that United could move for the Chester-born defender, as they believe a move for World Cup-winning German star Mats Hummels will prove difficult. United were also reportedly tacking Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar, but it appears that the player's £12 million valuation could put the Red Devils off in their pursuit.
And it appears that United stand a great chance of landing Shawcross in 2015, with the same report indicating that former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson negotiated a buy-back clause with the Potters when the club sold him back in 2008.
It remains to be seen as to whether United will press ahead with a move for their former player once the winter transfer market opens.
It's not surprising that Van Gaal is attempting to improve his back-line after the club's struggles in the early stages of this campaign. United have kept just two clean sheets from their opening seven league fixtures, and even conceded five goals at the King Power Stadium against Leicester City back in September.
Manchester United, of course, lost three of their most experienced defenders last summer as Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra all departed the club. Van Gaal did recruit the defensive duo of Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo in the last window, but it now appears that he could be ready to splash the cash once again in the summer.
Shawcross, then, could be the answer to United's defensive issues, with the player possessing a proven track record in England's elite division.
Manchester United fans: Do you want Shawcross to return to your club? Have your say in the comments section below!