Manchester United are prepared to increase their interest in Atletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez, according to reports.
The Red Devils have had a shaky start to the season, owing mostly to their lack of defensive quality, with only three clean sheets in all competitions.
Those shutouts came against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Burnley, and Crystal Palace, and some of the goals conceded were due to errors by goalkeeper Andre Onana.
Nonetheless, United have reached a point in their growth at the back where they require at least one new face, even before the injury problems that some of their present crop are experiencing.
Lisandro Martinez is out indefinitely with a foot ailment, and Raphael Varane has struggled with fitness since joining from Real Madrid.
Furthermore, Victor Lindelof is in the penultimate year of his contract, however United has the option to extend his terms by another year.
However, with Harry Maguire’s future also uncertain, head coach Erik ten Hag may need to recruit at least one new player for his backline as soon as possible.
El Nacional reports that United is preparing a formal proposal for Gimenez in the coming months.
The 28-year-old is a club legend, having contributed to two La Liga title successes during his time at Atletico, but physical troubles have prevented him from playing more than 28 league games in a single season.
The Uruguay international missed the first few weeks of the season due to injury before returning to shine in victories over Real Madrid and Osasuna.
Gimenez has subsequently sustained another muscle injury, putting him out of Sunday’s triumph over Real Sociedad, but the current ailment has led to the report stating that United believe they have a better chance of reaching an agreement with Atletico.
A €40 million (£34.59 million) bid may be enough to persuade Atletico to sell, however United may need to find additional finances to proceed with negotiations.
Gimenez, who has a contract with Atletico until 2026, has made 290 appearances in all competitions during his decade at the club.