Manchester United are reportedly keeping tabs on Torino defender Angelo Ogbonna, as Sir Alex Ferguson continues his search for a long-term successor to Rio Ferdinand.
The Red Devils, who are uncharacteristically leaking goals this season, have young options in Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones to cover the heart of their defence. However, the club scouted Ogbonna in his last two league matches and could make an official move for the centre-back, at the end of the season, according to the Daily Mirror.
The 24-year-old has impressed with Torino for some time now and helped them back into Serie A last season, attracting interest from a host of European clubs. The defender, who can also play at left-back, has a contract with the Turin club till 2016 and it would take a sizeable offer to convince the Italians to cash in on their top asset.
Ogbonna, who was a member the Italy squad that finished runners-up in Euro 2012, had recently expressed his desire to play in the Premier League in the near future as he feels his style of play would suit English football.
"I have always been happy at Torino. I have a long contract and I will give my best this season, and then we will see. I would go abroad willingly. I would like to experience other cultures. English football fascinates me, but the style is similar to Torino's one, and I speak English," Sky Sports quoted the defender
Shawcross Close to Signing Six-Year Extension
Meanwhile, Ryan Shawcross insists his future is with Stoke City, amid interest from the top Premier League clubs, including United and Tottenham Hotspur.
The England defender has been strongly linked with a return to Ferguson' side, after leaving Old Trafford to Stoke back in 2007. And to see off competition, the Potters have reportedly offered Shawcross a new six-year contract, and the 25-year-old has revealed he could make such a commitment.
"I'm very happy here and very settled here. I have loved my five years here so far, and I want that to continue. We have progressed incredibly from when I first came here. The people here have looked after me really well and the fans have been brilliant and I want to be part of the future," ESPN quoted Shawcross.