Manchester United are reportedly tracking Serie A centre-backs Angelo Ogbonna and Andrea Ranocchia.
The two players will be in action when Torino host Inter Milan on 16 September and, according to Italian newspaper TuttoSport, Six Alex Ferguson will send scouts to watch the defenders. The Red Devils, who are struggling at the back due to injuries, will be looking to reinforce their defence in January and are understood to have identified Ogbonna and Ranocchia as likely candidates.
Ogbonna 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. United could face competition from Everton as the Toffees' scouts are also expected to watch the 24-year-old in action, reports The Sun. Ogbonna has a contract with the Turin club till 2016 and it would take a fee in the region of £16m to convince the Italians to cash in on the defender, who can also play at left back.
"The transfer market is all about comparisons. If Inter request €20m (£16m) for Ranocchia, then I say that for me Ogbonna is worth the same amount. I won't compare him to Thiago Silva, but he is an important player who has a certain value," TuttoMercatoWeb quoted Torino President Urbano Cairo as saying.
Ranocchia is also 24 years old and, like Ogbonna, has represented Italy at the highest level. United will have to splash the cash in order to sign one of the two Azzurri internationals.
Baines Confident of Everton's Top Four Chances
Meanwhile, Everton wing-back and long-time United target Leighton Baines feels the charm of the Toffees helps to attract good players and keep them at the club.
The England international was linked with a move to Old Trafford for much of the summer but the 27-year-old decided to stay at Goodison Park and is now confident the current squad can achieve something special this season.
"We think there is a certain charm to Everton and that inspires the loyalty. There is a core group of players who do know what the club is all about and in the last couple of transfer windows the manager has added real quality with the likes of Darron Gibson and Nikica Jelavic. There's competition now and I wouldn't say it is beyond us to challenge for the top four," Baines told the Daily Star.
Baines is now in his sixth season with the Toffees since arriving from Wigan Athletic in 2007.