A busy summer is expected at Old Trafford as Jose Mourinho prepares to perform some major surgery on his squad ahead of a renewed challenge for the Premier League title and a possible return to the Champions League.
So far, the majority of players linked with a move to United have been expensive forwards. Romelu Lukaku and Antoine Griezmann would certainly make the club an attractive prospect going forward, but Mourinho knows he needs balance if they are to make a serious challenge.
With the likes of Matteo Darmian, Phil Jones, and Chris Smalling all hanging on to their United careers by the skin of their teeth, the Red Devils defence is likely to undergo something of a reshaping.
And according to a report in French publication L’Equipe, Jose Mourinho is already closing in on his first signing of the summer with a deal for one international defender said to be close.
The report claims that the club has targeted Paris Saint Germain’s Serge Aurier as a potential addition and L’Equipe state that he is close to agreeing on a deal to leave the French capital.
The 24-year-old, at one point, had been tipped to become one of the best fullbacks in the world but has struggled to nail down a regular spot in the first team.
This season he has made a total of 29 appearances across all competitions, chalking up three assists in the process, and has apparently agreed to join United for a fee believed to be in the region of €20 million.
However, with Antonio Valencia currently enjoying his best season in a United shirt, he will be wondering exactly what he has to do to stay in the side.
But what’s more worrying is that Aurier would arrive with an extraordinarily long list of instances of bad behaviour.
Last year the Ivorian international was handed a two-month prison sentence for assaulting a police officer after coming out of a nightclub in Paris, though he never actually served any time behind bars. This led to him not being able to travel to the UK to face Arsenal in the Champions League as his visa had been revoked.
Previously he had landed himself in hot water with the footballing authorities for a throat slit gesture after scoring as well as a video he uploaded to social media app Periscope, where he appeared to level a homophobic slur at former boss Laurent Blanc as well as launching a verbal attack on ex-Man United star Angel Di Maria.
He’s undoubtedly a talented player and has the necessary ingredients to make himself a success in the Premier League, but he has a lot of baggage that would be concerning to all connected with the club.