Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal will hold a meeting with senior Old Trafford officials today to discuss the pros and cons of a January bid to sign a new right-back this month, with Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne and Everton's Seamus Coleman the two possible targets being lined up.
The Daily Mail reports that the Red Devils boss is keen to make a move for a right-sided full-back in the mid-season window, but will wait until the summer before recruiting a central defender.
Van Gaal is desperate to boost his side's chances of qualifying for the Champions League next season, and sees the acquisition of a player to challenge Rafael and Antonio Valencia as a top priority in early 2015.
Coleman has long been mooted for a move to the Theatre of Dreams ever since former Toffees boss David Moyes succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson as manager. However, under Van Gaal the link has remained, but the Premier League giants will be required to pay upwards of £20 million if they are serious about luring the Republic of Ireland international from Goodison Park.
Roberto Martinez will be desperate to keep Coleman on Merseyside, but given that Everton paid just £60,000 to sign him from Sligo Rovers in January 2009, the fee being talked about would represent a huge profit that chairman Bill Kenwright might just find too good to turn down.
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Alternatively, Manchester United could return to the south coast to try and entice Clyne from St Mary's in the same way that they secured the signature of his former Saints team-mate Luke Shaw last summer.
The Red Devils paid £30 million to bring the left-back to Old Trafford, and know that Ronald Koeman's side will probably be tough negotiators again as they bid to hang on to the emerging England international until the end of the season at the very least.
However, with less than 18 months remaining on his current contract, and no sign yet that the 23-year-old plans to renew his deal, Southampton could be forced into cashing-in on the former Crystal Palace starlet or else risk losing him for nothing in the summer of 2016.
Either way, it's unlikely that they'll be willing to do any business in the January window, which is why a potential move for Coleman appears much more likely before the transfer deadline in just over two weeks time.