Manchester United have endured a difficult season thus far. They have now been knocked out of the UEFA Champions League and have no saving grace on the continental stage in the shape of Europa League football. The only realistic hope remains a top four spot in the Premier League.
Erik ten Hag is not expected to be sacked, but the Dutchman is under tremendous pressure to turn a corner and Manchester United are expected to provide him with all the support he requires in the transfer market. As such, they are already preparing a blueprint for next summer's transfer window and are interested in Real Madrid's David Alaba, according to Sport.
Alaba is expected to be available for €60 million and has also attracted interested from Juventus and Saudi Arabian giants Al Ittihad. Manchester United can afford to pay his transfer sum, especially if Sir Jim Ratcliffe's takeover goes ahead by the end of this season.
Alaba is expected to lose his starting berth at Real Madrid once Eder Militao returns to fitness following his ACL injury. The Brazilian will then partner with Antonio Rudiger in the heart of defence, thereby relegating Alaba to the bench.
RED DEVIL ARMADA'S VERDICT
Alaba is said to be happy with life at Real Madrid. The former Bayern Munich defender is ready to fight competition from Militao and alternatively also play as a left-back - a position where Carlo Ancelotti may need cover given Ferland Mendy's persistent injuries and Fran Garcia's lack of defensive solidity.
Additionally, Manchester United require younger players and must not make the same mistakes that they have done in the recent past - of spending multimillion euros on ageing players. Will signings like this be vetoed under the leadership of Sir Jim Ratcliffe?
News also broke on Monday morning that Alaba has suffered an ACL injury and will be out indefinitely. Real Madrid plan to sign cover at centre-back in January, according to The Athletic which could pull the Austrian down the pecking order by the time he is back.