Louis van Gaal's search for a new right-back recruit appears to have been right under his nose all along following reports that Uruguayan defender Guillermo Varela is set to be handed a starting role in the Manchester United first-team next season.
That's according to the Daily Mail, who claim the 22-year-old will be rewarded for his impressive season-long loan spell with Real Madrid Castilla last term with an opportunity to stake a claim for a place in the Red Devils' line-up.
Old Trafford supporters recently questioned why the veteran Dutch tactician decided not to rival Liverpool for the £12.5 million services of Southampton full-back Nathaniel Clyne, particularly after being linked with the England international for so long. But, now Van Gaal's thought process in the build-up to the 2015/16 campaign is becoming clearer.
Article continues below
Varela arrived at the Theatre of Dreams in a £2.5 million deal back in 2013 - the same summer that David Moyes succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson as manager - signing a five-year contract with the Premier League giants after impressing scouts in the U20 World Cup qualifiers.
However, the youngster has been forced to bide his time patiently before earning a call-up to the senior fold, and was sent out to Spain for the duration of 2014/15 to gain more experience of playing regular competitive football.
Article continues below
The full-back hadn't fully established himself at former club Penarol when he departed, but under the watchful eye of Zinedine Zidane the South American excelled in 33 appearances for Los Blancos' second string last term.
His performances have given Van Gaal reason to believe that Varela could be the solution to his long-standing problem on the right side of defence, which is currently being filled by Ecuadorian winger Antonio Valencia, although that was only ever seen as a short-term answer.
With Rafael's future at Manchester United shrouded in doubt, there's certainly an opening for the burgeoning young talent to establish himself in the team, having already earned rave reviews from Red Devils youth team coaches during his debut season in the Development squad in 2013/14.
Manchester United fans: Do you think Louis van Gaal is doing the right thing by promoting from within? Has Guillermo Varela got what it takes to become a first-team regular at Old Trafford? Share your thoughts below...