Manchester United are reportedly set to offer AS Roma £47.6 million for defender Kostas Manolas.
According to Emanuele Giulianelli of The Sun, United manager Jose Mourinho is a big fan of the Greece international centre-back and is willing to splash out the huge sum during the current transfer window.
However, the Serie A side are holding out for £52 million for one of their key players, per the report.
Should United pull off the signing for such a figure, Manolas would become one of the most expensive defenders in history, per the Telegraph.
|Top 5 Most Expensive Defenders|
|David Luiz||Chelsea||Paris Saint-Germain||£50 million|
|John Stones||Everton||Manchester City||£47.5 million|
|Thiago Silva||AC Milan||Paris Saint-Germain||£35 million|
|Shkodran Musafi||Valencia||Arsenal||£35 million|
|Eliaquim Mangala||Porto||Manchester City||£32 million|
Mourinho's reported move for Manolas comes despite his side being boosted in recent months by the developing central-defensive partnership between Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo.
The pair's improving displays have come as a surprise, particularly after Mourinho spent the opening months of the season rotating his defenders, seemingly in a bid to find which ones he could rely upon.
Manolas is a pacy defender who is strong in the air, and those attributes are likely to be a big benefit for the hustle and bustle of the Premier League should he make the switch to England.
He is also a good passer of the ball, although like many defenders, he can be prone to a loss of concentration at times.
Manolas has confidence in his own ability, and after arriving at Roma in 2014 as the replacement for Bayern Munich-bound Mehdi Benatia, he said, per FourFourTwo: "Benatia is a brilliant player. But he's the past; I'm the present."
Mourinho will no doubt believe he can improve the 25-year-old's game further, but it is perhaps questionable whether United need to sign another centre-half.
Despite the manager's personnel changes earlier in the season, the Red Devils have the third-best defensive record in the Premier League, behind Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea. And they appear to have found a pairing in Jones and Rojo that is flourishing with the more games they play alongside each other.
While it is no surprise that Mourinho is reportedly looking to add more depth in defensive areas, it was only last summer that the club paid out £30 million for Eric Bailly, who has shown promise in his early career at Old Trafford.
Manolas has won 27 caps for Greece and has excelled in Italy following his move from Olympiakos.
The sky-high fee reportedly wanted by the Italians is arguably higher due to the potential impact of losing such a key player midseason. He is a leading figure in the Roma side that sits in second spot in Serie A.
Therefore, it remains to be seen whether Mourinho rates him highly enough to cave in to a £50 million-plus sum now or wait until next summer when he may be able to prise him away for a touch less. By then, he should also know whether Jones and Rojo are the right way forward for his team.