Barcelona star Gerard Pique is unlikely to make a sensational return to Manchester United as his girlfriend Shakira wants to stay in Spain, reports the Daily Mail.
The pop superstar - who has been in a relationship with Pique for a number of years - isn't prepared to leave Barcelona for Manchester anytime soon.
This news, then, will certainly come as a blow to Manchester United who have been linked with the Spanish international in the last couple of days. Reports indicated that the Red Devils were ready to bring the defender back to Old Trafford after initially leaving the club in 2008.
Pique has endured a tricky time at the Catalan outfit of late after struggling for form in the early stages of this season. The Spaniard, then, has been pushed out of the Barcelona starting XI, with new signing Jeremy Mathieu taking his place, leading to speculation regarding his future.
Struggles at the back
It remains to be seen as to whether Manchester United will try and persuade Pique and Shakira to leave Barcelona, but Red Devils fans will certainly be expecting improvement in the defensive department in the next transfer window.
Van Gaal's side have had a nightmare start to the season and have shipped a number of goals already this term. The Red Devils conceded four goals against League One outfit MK Dons in the Capital One Cup last month, while their latest setback came against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium this past weekend as they lost by five goals to three.
And, United have defensive concerns ahead of this weekend's clash with West Ham. Jonny Evans - who came off injured against Leicester City - is set for a spell on the sidelines, whilst Phil Jones is still out of action. Youngster Tyler Blackett, meanwhile, picked up a red card in United's defeat, so will miss the game with the Hammers through suspension.
It appears, then, that Van Gaal will hand a first start to teenager Luke Shaw at left-back, with Marcos Rojo moving into the centre of defence. The Argentine should partner Chris Smalling at the back, with Brazilian ace Rafael da Silva plying his trade at right-back.
Manchester United fans: Would you like to see Pique back at Old Trafford? Is he an upgrade on your current defenders? Have your say in the comments section below!
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