Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes that Bruno Martins Indi is exactly the kind of commanding presence that the Red Devils need to shore up their leaky, injury prone defence and is ready to table a £10 million offer to get his man in January.
Van Gaal's been persistently linked with a move for another Dutch international defender in Ron Vlaar, but Martins Indi is a younger, fresher alternative and would represent a signing which proves the United boss has a long-term vision in mind.
The Sun believe Van Gaal continues to monitor Vlaar but a January deal for Martins Indi is now his top transfer priority, despite the 22-year-old only signing for Porto summer.
Would Porto sell after just six months?
It's something of a surprise that Van Gaal believes he has a genuine chance of getting a deal for Martins Indi signed and sealed at the start of 2015, particularly when he turned down the chance to bring the Netherlands linchpin to Old Trafford this summer.
Porto jumped at the chance to sign the 6'1'' powerhouse following his strong performances at the World Cup, for just €7.7m. Van Gaal reportedly wanted to see if the former Feyenoord stalwart could cut it at in the Champions League before stepping up his interest.
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Close relationship with Van Gaal could seal deal
Martins Indi has already proved to be a very astute purchase for the Portuguese giants, who are famously fierce negotiators in the transfer market and would expect to squeeze maximum profit from any potential sale, if it's sanctioned at all.
Van Gaal's confidence over this particular pursuit likely stems from his strong relationship with Martins Indi, a player he's still in regular contract with.
Only three weeks ago Martins Indi was asked about that bond and said: “Spiritually, I still have contact with Van Gaal. I think about him and I think he also thinks about me.”
Vlaar now a back-up option
United will table a formal opening offer for Martins Indi when the January window opens, but if they have no luck a cut-price deal for Vlaar represents something of a safety net.
Vlaar is out of contract at the end of the season, which means an offer matching United's valuation of around £6m will likely be accepted.
Either way Van Gaal is desperate to bring some much-needed solidity to a defence which has struggled under the weight of constant injuries and a lack of cohesion so far this season, which can only be a positive for the Red Devils moving forward.
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