The Athletic report that Manchester United are in the market for an experienced right back.
They claim that United’s top target in that role is England international Kieran Trippier of Atletico Madrid.
But that interest has hit a problem because he has been handed an international 10-week ban for betting offences.
Solskjaer apparently wants the same competition for places he has at left back, with Alex Telles battling Luke Shaw for a start.
The report claims United are looking for a right back aged between 28 and 30, to improve Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s performances.
Here is a look at three players around that age range who United could realistically land this month now that a deal for Trippier is a no-go unless his ban is overturned…
Pereira was one of the best right backs in the Premier League last season before his season was ended early by injury.
With James Justin having deputised for the Portuguese so ably, perhaps United could persuade Brendan Rodgers he could do without Pereira.
He gets forward well to whip in crosses but is diligent defensively.
Leicester showed with Harry Maguire that they are willing to do business with United – but it doesn’t come cheaply.
Pereira is 27, so full of experience but still with his best years ahead of him.
Some might scoff at the idea of bringing in a player from Scottish football to improve United.
But anyone who saw John McGinn’s performance at Old Trafford last week knows players can come from north of the border to become key men in England.
And if the interest in Trippier suggests Solskjaer wants a more attacking alternative to Wan-Bissaka, who is adept at crossing and set pieces, Tavernier could fit the bill.
He has a whopping 17 goals and 14 assists to his name this season. He’s also a leader as he wears the armband for Rangers.
The financial situation in Scottish football means that prizing Tavernier away wouldn’t break the bank, despite his importance to Rangers.
The 29-year-old could be an outside bet in the same mould as Trippier.
United got to see Rafael up close in the Champions League season in two games against Istanbul Basaksehir.
Rio Ferdinand is among those who feel United should never have let the Brazilian leave.
Solskjaer admitted after the 4-1 win over Basaksehir in November that he was disappointed to see him depart Old Trafford.
His familiarity with the club should mean he wouldn’t need much time to settle back in, which is always a concern with mid-season signings.
Rafael’s affection for the club is clear for all to see and he’s a never-say-die defender who is capable of bombing forward into attack.
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