Manchester United have agreed a £20 million fee with Dynamo Kiev for Austrian defender Aleksandar Dragovic, who will now discuss personal terms before completing a January move to Old Trafford that will comes as a huge but welcome surprise to Red Devils.
That is according to the Daily Star, who cite reports in Austria in a report which insists United manager Louis van Gaal has done a u-turn and decided that with Champions League qualification in jeopardy he can't wait until this summer to sign a new centre-back.
Dragovic will certainly provide a new option in a problem position for Van Gaal, where injuries and an insistence on sticking with 3-5-2 have seen youngsters thrust into the starting XI far more quickly than anyone expected.
Young defender in high demand
United are far from the first club to test Dynamo's resolve when it comes to keeping Dragovic, a player who has excelled since making a relatively cut-price switch from FC Basel back in 2013.
Zenit St.Petersburg recently had a £10 million offer turned down, with the Guardian reporting that Juventus and Roma are also long-term admirers. The Premier League remains his preferred destination though, which means its all systems go for this transfer to go through over the next 48 hours.
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Van Gaal changes his mind?
Red Devils transfer chiefs have been adamant in public statements that they're not interested in chasing short-term fixes, preferring to wait until the summer if need be to get players that represent a considerable improvement on their current options.
Mats Hummels, Kevin Strootman and co. aren't available though, which means a change in tact at the Theatre of Dreams to find a man in Dragovic that can immediately take the strain off the likes of Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett.
Dragovic already has 35 international caps to his name and would surely jump at the chance to prove his worth at the Theatre of Dreams, which is perhaps why United are willing once again to pay a premium to sign a player who has been openly courted by top teams across the continent over the last six months.