Eric Bailly may not be able to play for Manchester United until Christmas after a serious knee injury sustained in a pre-season friendly game against Tottenham.
Reds boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed that the Ivorian has had an operation and will be out for ‘four or five months’.
United are well stocked in central defence, with senior defenders Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof, and Marcus Rojo still available.
Nevertheless, even before the injury to Bailly, the Reds have pursued central defensive reinforcements and Leicester City’s Harry Maguire has been continually been linked with a move to Manchester.
Manchester City may have balked at the Foxes’ world record valuation of the popular England centre half – his price tag is reportedly well over £80m – but United have remained undeterred in their pursuit.
But United fans remain unconvinced about the relative lack of big-name signings with the August 8 British summer transfer deadline fast approaching.
Paulo Dybala talks begin as Italian clubs target Romelu Lukaku
United have reportedly begun initial talks with Juventus about a move for their forward Paulo Dybala.
The Argentine playmaker, 25, scored ten times for the Serie A champions last season including the winner against United in the Champions League group stage.
His impact has been reduced since the arrival for ex-United player Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid.
Dybala could be used as a makeweight in a deal to sign United striker Romelu Lukaku although Inter Milan have also expressed an interest in the Belgian.
Lukaku is currently injured but despite his absence from the Reds’ latest pre-season win, United were victorious in Norway.
United made it five wins from five in pre-season after Juan Mata stepped up to score an injury time penalty to beat Solskjaer’s home town club Kristiansund after Scott McTominay’s first half effort had struck the post.
Kristiansund had introduced Solksjaer’s son, Noah, as a late substitute but there were to be no late Norwegian heroics in Oslo.