Manchester United are willing to consider a move for any available centre-back this summer, such is their desperation to add reinforcements at the back, according to the Telegraph. Arsenal target Kostas Manolas and Chelsea target Mehdi Benatia have both been linked with moves to Old Trafford.
The Red Devils are in dire need of some reinforcements at the back following the departures of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, while Patrice Evra has also left for Juventus.
That has led new Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal on a desperate search for new defenders who can operate in his new three-man defence. He looks close to signing Marcos Rojo from Sporting Lisbon and Daley Blind from Ajax, but neither are specialist centre-backs.
The Telegraph say Manchester United are so keen to sign defenders that they are currently considering any available option on the market. They missed out on former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen and don't look likely to sign Mats Hummels either, so will now have to turn their attention elsewhere.
One available option is Manolas, who is attracting interest from Arsenal as well. The Telegraph say he could join the Gunners in a £6 million deal as a replacement for Vermaelen, although Manchester United could still be in with a shout.
Arsenal are in the midst of an early season defensive crisis, with Kieran Gibbs ruled out of action for four weeks. Nacho Monreal will have to act as cover for him having been though of by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger as back-up in the middle, and Per Mertesacker is not yet fully fit following exertions at the World Cup. Calum Chambers has filled in adequately but is naturally a full-back, meaning Wenger wants to sign a new centre-back.
If Arsenal are able to land Manolas, then another name linked with a move to Old Trafford is Mehdi Benatia. The Roma defender, who is valued at around £25 million, is on the radar of Chelsea as they look to lure a replacement for David Luiz to Stamford Bridge.
As it stands the Red Devils can only call upon Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans and Phil Jones at the back, and that lack of options showed as they stumbled to a 2-1 defeat against Swansea in Van Gaal's first competitive game in charge on Saturday at Old Trafford.
Rojo should complete his move soon, and while he can play at centre-back he was used at the World Cup at left-back, and Van Gaal is likely to deploy him as a wing-back rather than in the middle.
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