It is remarkably 736 days and counting since Manchester United last signed a centre-back.
That was the capture of Victor Lindelöf in 2017, and while he has begun to step up, he lacks a regular partner.
United do not appear to be prioritising a centre-back so far this transfer window, with the club working on deals for a right-back, and midfield a more pressing concern.
A concerning report from ESPN’s Mark Ogden has claimed United have a budget of just £100 million this summer, to be topped up with player sales.
It’s easy to dismiss this, and the figures may well be wrong, but it would explain United’s held back transfer approach this summer.
If United are working to a budget and a big sale does not occur, this should put Toby Alderweireld back in the frame.
Alderweireld has a release clause of just £25 million, making him the best value centre-back option for United.
The Belgian may have just turned 30, but for the short-term, he would be an upgrade on United’s current options.
It would be low risk, given the fact he is already acclimatised to the Premier League, and it would allow United to focus the rest of the budget on other areas.
In a world where United have an unlimited transfer budget, players like Matthijs de Ligt and Kalidou Koulibaly would be top options. But these both seem to be fading prospects.
A cheap and effective deal for Alderweireld would be a shrewd move, and finally give Lindelöf a top class partner.