Manchester United were considered favourites to sign Napoli star Kim Min-jae earlier this month, but Bayern Munich are now in pole position to land him.
The German champions have almost reached a full agreement with his representative, and interested clubs have been informed that the centre-back will move to Bayern next month.
The news is a huge blow for the Red Devils, and here are three alternatives that they could consider.
Axel Disasi – Monaco
United have already been in contact with the player and his representative. The Frenchman has given the green light for a transfer, and the club could negotiate with Monaco soon.
Similar to Min-jae, the 25-year-old has a strong presence in the box. He won a stunning 70 per cent of his aerial duels last term while making almost three clearances per appearance.
His ball-playing ability is not quite the same as the South Korean, but he would be a quality deputy behind Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez. He could be signed for €40-50 million.
Jurrien Timber – Ajax
Timber was a priority target for manager Erik ten Hag last summer. However, a transfer did not materialise as the Dutchman decided to continue with Ajax for another season.
United ended up pursuing his teammate Lisandro Martinez, who has been a fantastic signing. The Red Devils could now re-consider a fresh move for Timber in the current transfer window.
The 22-year-old has almost similar defensive strengths as Min-jae. He is strong with his tackling and ability to make clearances. He completed 92 per cent of his passes in the recent campaign.
Timber could be prised away for around €50 million, but there are big questions over his aerial presence. Ten Hag may prefer a centre-back, who could dominate strikers in the air.
Goncalo Inacio – Sporting
The Portuguese has been linked with the Red Devils for the past 18 months. He was much fancied to sign the 21-year-old last summer, but the club preferred to land Martinez instead.
It remains to be seen whether they make an approach. The Red Devils have monitored him closely throughout the campaign, and he is currently waiting for a potential offer.
Inacio has stalled talks over a new contract at Sporting to assess interest from abroad including United. The youngster is a left-footed centre-back, who could act as Martinez’s back-up.
He has fared well with his defensive contributions, but his main strengths are his passing and positioning in the box. Inacio is available for his release clause of around €45m.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com & Sofascore.com
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