Manchester United are interested in signing Atletico Madrid centre-back Jose Gimenez, according to the Daily Mirror.
The report claims Jose Mourinho is desperate to improve his defense and has targeted a move for the highly-rated Uruguay international, who has a £56m release clause in his contract.
Mourinho reportedly wants the club to back him with a £50m move for the 21-year-old, who joined Atletico Madrid from Danubio in 2013.
Gimenez has only made 2 appearances in all competitions for the Spanish giants since the start of the season.
United could definitely do with another centre-back, especially given Eric Bailly’s knee injury that has ruled him out of action until the end of the year.
Even if Bailly recovers in January, he’d probably be selected to play in the African Cup of Nations for his country Ivory Coast, which would mean he’s unlikely to play for United until the beginning of February.
The defensive problems for United don’t stop with Bailly’s injury, though. There’s a severe lack of quality options at centre-back.
Marcos Rojo is plain average, Daley Blind is too inconsistent, whereas Chris Smalling hasn’t started the season very well and was awful against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Gimenez is widely regarded as one of the best defensive prospects in world football, so he’d definitely be a quality signing for Mourinho’s team.
Atletico Madrid would be tough to negotiate with, so United would probably need to activate the player’s release clause if they want to sign him.
However, the Spanish side could find itself in a difficult situation if Gimenez doesn’t sign a contract renewal by next summer as he’d only have one year on his contract.