United remain keen on versatile Holland defender Erik Pieters and have also watched Toulouse centre-back Aymen Abdennour, who is a Tunisia international. They would face stiff competition for the defender, who recently signed a new contract so that his club will be able to raise maximum funds in the summer.
Newcastle – who are braced for another summer of change – are looking to recruit two defenders in the close season, a young player and senior professional.
Meanwhile, United travel to West Brom with the intention of once again keeping things tight at the back.
Alan Pardew has made a concerted effort to improve the team defensively over recent weeks and while Sunday’s defeat of Norwich wasn’t pretty, it illustrated the advances on that front of late.
Winger Jonás Gutiérrez says that United will have to repeat the feat against a West Brom side who rolled three past them in December.
“It's always difficult away from home, but even more so in this league,” he said.
“We'll have to be focused and concentrate for the 90 minutes.
“We know that we can score and that we can get a clean sheet as well, because all the team is defending really well in the last couple of weeks.
“But we'll have to be focused and not make mistakes because in this league if you make a mistake, you concede a goal.
“So we have to make sure that we don't make them.”