Manchester United appear to have lost patience with long-suffering captain Harry Maguire.
Maguire started the season poorly and hasn't recovered to rekindle his best form in a red shirt, after missing the run-in to last season and the first half of Euro 2020 with injury. Now, it seems as if interim manager Ralf Rangnick has decided to replace him.
The 63-year-old steps into a consultancy role this summer following the end of his temporary time in the dugout – and with over half a season of managing the Red Devils' dysfunctional side, he's identified a number of positions that need improving at Old Trafford.
One such position is centre-back, with the Daily Express reporting that United – who were this week dumped out of the last-16 of the Champions League by LaLiga champions Atletico Madrid – have opened talks with Manuel Akanji.
Swiss defender Akanji has been a solid presence at the back for Borussia Dortmund for a number of years, having joined from Basel four years ago. At 26 years old, the BVB man could well be the future of the defence alongside last summer's marquee recruit at the back, Raphael Varane.
After buying Varane, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo last summer, it seems as if Rangnick is keen to target lower-profile players, with the likes of Amadou Haidara and Boubacar Kamara looked at in the winter window.
Akanji is valued at £27m by Transfermarkt.
More Manchester United stories
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. Over his time on the brand, he has interviewed the likes of Aaron Ramsdale and Jack Wilshere, written pieces ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career, and has been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals, working for FFT.
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.