Solskjaer and Murtough draw up centre-back shortlist as Man Utd back-up plan

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and John Murtough have decided on a six-man centre-back shortlist ahead of this summer’s transfer window.

Manchester United have improved under the Norwegian but still remain one or two signings short of mounting a serious Premier League title charge – namely in the forward and defensive positions.

This is an area Solskjaer is monitoring, especially with Eric Bailly’s future up in the air.

The Ivory Coast defender has proved unreliable with his fitness record but has also grown frustrated at his lack of game time when available.

Should discussions over a new deal stall, with the Ivorian possibly keen to ply his trade elsewhere, then Solskjaer has a back up plan at the ready – a six-man transfer shortlist.

Solskjaer has his eye on a few defenders.
Solskjaer has his eye on a few defenders.
(Image: Getty Images)

According to Eurosport, the first four names are Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, Villarreal’s Pau Torres, Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane and RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate.

The remaining two names have yet to be revealed but it is claimed they are being looked into seriously.

Eric Bailly has been linked with an Old Trafford exit.
Eric Bailly has been linked with an Old Trafford exit.
(Image: REUTERS)

At 22, Kounde has also been linked with Chelsea and Real Madrid after a stellar two seasons in La Liga. Torres has already been mooted with a move to United as well as neighbours Manchester City.

Varane has been on United’s radar for years but a move has never materialised. It seems now Real Madrid would finally be willing to listen to offers.

Pau Torres is one of the name's on Solskjaer's shortlist.
Pau Torres is one of the name’s on Solskjaer’s shortlist.
(Image: Getty Images)

As for Konate, Liverpool have emerged as contenders in recent days as they look to bulk out their defence and get back on track next season.

Solskjaer’s priority is to have a fit and firing Bailly to call upon and deploy next to Harry Maguire, but it seems he’s made back up plans just in case that can’t happen.

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