Manchester United have renewed their interest in Netherlands international Bruno Martins Indi, six months after his €7.7 million move to FC Porto.
The Red Devils were strongly linked with the 22-year-old centre-back following his impressive performances at the World Cup finals under the management of Louis van Gaal.
Van Gaal wanted to sign Martins Indi shortly after accepting the job to become the new manager of Manchester United, but the defender was in a hurry to leave Feyenoord and promptly agreed a deal with the Portuguese giants.
United renew interest
However, respected Portuguese newspaper Record understand that Manchester United have been monitoring the progress of Martins Indi this season - and have been impressed with what they’ve seen.
The Dutchman has made 22 appearances in all competitions for Porto this season - scoring two goals in the process - and would be a cheaper option than top United transfer target Mats Hummels.
The Borussia Dortmund captain would command a transfer fee of at least £30 million and the odds of his current employers allowing a deal to happen this month appear extremely slim.
Van Gaal has doubts over all three of his current first-choice centre-backs - Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans - while Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett, despite the fact they have coped admirably after being thrown into the deep end this season, are raw and inexperienced.
Van Gaal knows Martins Indi
Martins Indi proved at the World Cup that, despite his relatively tender age, he possesses the physical and mental attributes required to play for a top club.
Porto is proving to be a useful stepping stone for the defender - but now Van Gaal wants to bring him to Old Trafford to help ensure Manchester United qualify for next season’s Champions League group stages by securing a top-four finish in the Premier League.
Despite calls from fans to switch to a back-four, it seems Van Gaal will continue with his favoured 3-5-2 formation for the foreseeable future - a system in which Martins Indi flourished while playing for the Oranje in Brazil.
But whether Manchester United can get a deal over the line before the January transfer window closes on February 2 remains to be seen.
United fans: would you be happy with Martins Indi instead of Hummels? Have your say in the comments below.