Manchester United are considering a move for highly-rated Dynamo Kiev centre-back Aleksandar Dragovic before the January transfer window closes on February 2.
ESPN have been told by sources that Louis van Gaal is weighing up a move for the 23-year-old Austria international, who is a potential alternative for Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels and Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar.
Porto centre-back Bruno Martins Indi - who Van Gaal knows well from his time in charge of the Netherlands national team - has also been linked with a move to Old Trafford this month. But Dragovic is likely to be the most realistic option.
Van Gaal desperate to sign centre-back
Van Gaal is keen to bolster his defensive options in order to give Manchester United the best possible chance of securing a top-four finish this season.
The veteran Dutch coach has doubts over all three of his current first-choice centre-backs - Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling - while Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett, despite the fact they have coped admirably this season, are still inexperienced and raw.
United's new Nemanja Vidic?
Van Gaal will be hoping Dragovic can follow in the footsteps of former Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic, who joined the club back in January 2006.
Signed for £7 million from Spartak Moscow, Vidic went on to become one of the Red Devils' all-time great central defenders - but United have failed to replace the talismanic Serbian since he departed the club last summer.
Vidic has been linked with a shock return to Manchester United following a disappointing start to his Inter Milan career, but signing the younger Dragovic is likely to appeal to Van Gaal more.
Arsenal and West Ham interest
The defender started his career with Austria Vienna before joining FC Basel in 2011. A year later he was named best defender in Switzerland, and in 2013 he signed a five-year deal with Dynamo Kiev.
Having impressed for both club and country, Dragovic has caught the eye of several Premier League clubs, including Arsenal and West Ham.
But United scouts have been closely monitoring his progress and are planning a formal move to beat their Premier League rivals to his signature.