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October 22, 2020

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The Norwegian will mull over whether he needs a new defender over the next few months (Picture: Getty)

Manchester United could raid La Liga to solve their centre-back issues with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer now considering strengthening his defence when the transfer window reopens, according to reports.

The Red Devils have endured a difficult start to the new season, shipping 11 goals in their first three matches and suffering their joint worst defeat in Premier League history – a 6-1 loss at Old Trafford against Tottenham.

Solskjaer refused to criticise or pick out individuals after his side’s careless displays, but privately he appears to be questioning the calibre of the defenders at his disposal.

United lost at home to both Crystal Palace and Spurs, conceding nine goals (Picture: Getty)

According to ESPN, Solskjaer is no longer ruling out signing a new defender in January if the club’s problems at the back continue.

The Norwegian coach will give his centre-back charges the next two-and-a-half months to try and arrest their worrying slumps in form and prove they deserve to play for United.

But if performances do not improve, the club have already begun compiling a list of potential alternatives and they will be keeping a very close eye on two La Liga centre-backs over the coming months.

The first is Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, who very nearly moved to rivals Manchester City over the summer before they opted for Ruben Dias.

France Under-21 international Kounde is still considered a little raw, but has many of the qualities required in a modern centre-back – composure on the ball and pace especially – and which United are lacking at present.

Kounde is valued at as much as £63million by Sevilla, while United are also monitoring 23-year-old Villarreal defender Pau Torres as another potential option.

Sevilla youngster Kounde helped the side win the Europa League (Picture: Getty)

In order for any deal to happen, however, United will first need to offload several exisiting centre-backs, with Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo first on the chopping block.

Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe will be given chances to prove they deserve a shot at playing in the defence, while Solskjaer is a big fan of teenager Teden Mengi too.

United are next in action on Saturday against Newcastle and Solskjaer is expected to recall Victor Lindelof to the starting XI, with Bailly having picked up a small injury while on international duty with the Ivory Coast.

MORE: Manchester United chiefs think academy star Shola Shoretire can fill Jadon Sancho void

MORE: Manchester United players unhappy over Sergio Romero treatment

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