Chelsea in battle Man United over deal for £71m-rated CB

José Mourinho was frustrated in the summer after United’s chief stifled efforts to sign quality centre-backs ahead of the new season.

United started this campaign in an average fashion following their 2-1 win against Leicester City on opening day, and their performance score has seen dropped.

The Red Devils are exposed in their backlines. It is a dilapidated structure, that would crumble completely like a deck of fallen cards against the strongest of attacks any day, as was their Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium.

Harry Maguire and Toby Alderweireld both possessed the quality Mourinho’s looking for, but United couldn’t push persistently for their transfers then, and it looks very unlikely now.

Chelsea target Milan Skriniar has been identified as an alternative in January.

Skriniar is an highly rated defender in Inter Milan, but reports in Italy claim Chelsea already have a strong grip in closing the deal for his transfer, pipping Mourinho and Manchester United to signing the Slovakian.

Skriniar is valued in the region of £71 million, and reports suggest Inter will not water down the sale of the defender.

The 23-year-old is on his second spell at the San Siro after his move from Sampdoria. Gary Cahill and Diego Godin are both in United January shopping list.