Manchester United's chances of landing Dynamo Kiev defender Aleksandar Dragovic have fallen after his manager played down a January move. However, a £100 million deal for Cristiano Ronaldo could be on the cards.
Dynamo boss Sergei Rebrov insisted his centre-back is committed to the Ukrainian club following speculation with regards to a move to Old Trafford during the winter transfer window, per the Mirror's Liam Corless:
Is Dragovic going to Manchester United? I doubt Dragovic reads those stories or that he gives any meaning to all that is written about him. I talk with Alex a lot. He is an absolutely decent man. Now he has a goal, he wants to play in the Champions League playoffs [against Manchester City] for this team.
After that? Only God knows.
It's a critical factor that, as Rebrov stated, Dynamo Kiev are in the Champions League round of 16, while Manchester United are far from certain to qualify for next season's tournament.
The Red Devils currently lie sixth in the Premier League standings and are just three points above ninth-place Liverpool after winning once in their last eight league outings, diminishing their chances of a top-four finish.
Austria international Dragovic has established himself as a key figure in the Ukrainian capital since signing from Basel in 2013, going on to make 99 appearances for Dynamo across all competitions.
According to broadcaster Ian Abrahams, Manchester United won't be landing Dragovic in January, but a centre-back will be moving to Old Trafford before the window shuts in a fortnight:
.@ManUtd gossip, I've heard Dragovic won't be joining Utd this month, but another centre half should arrive— Ian Abrahams (Moose) (@BroadcastMoose) January 15, 2016
Chris Smalling has played a prominent role under manager Louis van Gaal, but he's struggled to come upon a consistent, natural partner at the heart of defence. As the squad has coped with injuries and suspensions, Daley Blind, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo have all been tried alongside the England international.
Another key member of United's defence may leave, however, if the club are to get their hands on Ronaldo. According to the Sun, Los Blancos are willing to sell Ronaldo for £100 million, but De Gea ranks highly on their list of targets (h/t James Robson of Manchester Evening News).
Big-spending Paris Saint-Germain are mentioned as the primary club linked to the Portuguese attacker, but United would assuredly look to challenge for their former talisman should he become available.
Should Manchester United seek a Ronaldo reunion?
After being appointed manager at the Bernabeu, Zinedine Zidane outlined Ronaldo's loyalties as a priority for Los Merengues, per BBC Sport. He said: "Cristiano is more than non-transferable. He is the soul of the team. He's going nowhere."
Robson reported the two-window transfer bans handed to Real and Atletico Madrid earlier this week as being the reason why Zidane's side could be in such a hurry to secure De Gea's signature now.
United wouldn't be likely to agree a sale unless they were to receive a player in return from Real, but the Mirror's David Anderson proclaimed Ronaldo isn't heading anywhere as a result of the transfer embargo:
The transfer bans for Real and Atletico Madrid have big implications for United. They can't buy Bale, Ronaldo, Benzema, Niguez or Griezmann.— David Anderson (@MirrorAnderson) January 14, 2016
A reunion with the 30-year-old has always seemed like an impossible task for United, especially in the winter transfer window, where so many factors run against the likelihood of such a ground-breaking deal.
With Real unlikely to be able to secure a replacement until the summer of 2017 at the earliest, United face the chances of an 18-month wait before any hopes of re-signing Ronaldo become even slightly realistic.