Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal wants to close a deal for Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar this week, rather than wait until this summer to sign the Dutch star on a free transfer.
Vlaar is free to talk terms over a Bosman switch after snubbing interest from Villa in a new contract, although he's yet to actually receive a concrete offer to leave the club either in January or this summer.
United are ready to change that with a £1.5 million bid, because the Daily Star believes Van Gaal is desperate to strengthen his defensive options sooner rather than later.
Vlaar to Old Trafford?
The 29-year-old would certainly bring some much-needed experience and physical presence to a United backline that has struggled to convince this season, although that has to be blamed at least in part on a shocking injury crisis at Old Trafford since Van Gaal took charge.
Van Gaal knows Vlaar's game inside out and got the very best out the towering centre-back during Holland's run to the 2014 World Cup semi-finals, could he be about to do the same at United?
Arsenal interest has surprisingly waned
United have very little genuine competition for Vlaar at this stage of this season, despite Arsenal and Liverpool monitoring his progress closely over the last six months.
In truth all three top Premier League clubs need to freshen up their failing backlines, but Van Gaal seems like the only managed who thinks Vlaar is worth an immediate financial outlay rather than a speculative punt in the summer.
United will likely have to improve upon their opening £1.5m offer to get this deal concluded quickly, but Villa have very little room for manoeuvre and in truth have coped just fine without their skipper for large swathes of this season.
The emergence of Jores Okore could work in United's favour, Vlaar is very much available at the right price and it's now up to United to show they're serious about adding the stalwart to their squad before the transfer window slams sht