Reports: Manchester United's nine-man defender shortlist revealed
What's the story?
Throughout the summer, Manchester United were linked with a host of top-quality defenders, but they failed to sign any of them, much to Jose Mourinho's chagrin.
Tottenham's Toby Alderweireld was one of the names who was heavily rumoured to be on the brink of joining the Red Devils. However, the move never transpired and a report from The Times has now revealed the reason why the deal fell through.
Apparently, the 29-year-old was low down on a nine-man shortlist that was given to Mourinho and Woodward by United's scouting department. If the aforementioned report is to be believed, the top names were Real Madrid's Raphaël Varane and Leicester City's Harry Maguire.
Other names on the list included Jérôme Boateng, Kalidou Koulibaly, Milan Skriniar, Alessio Romagnoli, José Giménez and Caglar Soyuncu.
In case you didn't know...
Manchester United's inability to sign a top-notch defender led to Jose Mourinho publicly lashing out at executive vice-president, Ed Woodward, which further exacerbated the situation at the Old Trafford.
The heart of the matter
The news that United's top brass had a nine-man defender shortlist at hand, but still failed to procure a big-name defensive signing goes on to evince what a mess the transfer policy is at Old Trafford currently.
Consequently, their failure in the transfer window has also been translated into their performances this season as they suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Brighton last weekend, largely owing to the defensive ineptitude.
Rumour probability/rating: 7/10
The Times is a pretty decent source and the report also seems reasonable considering the English giants' desire to bolster their rearguard for the ongoing 2018/19 season.
Manchester United have already commenced the new season in a disappointing fashion, which has rekindled Jose Mourinho's sacking speculation.