Manchester United are only a step away from completing a deal for Dynamo Kyiv centre-back Aleksandar Dragovic in the January transfer window. The Red Devils have an injury crisis in defence, with four players currently out of contention and Louis van Gaal is desperate to shore up his options at the back as the challenge for a place in the top four heats up.
Italian outlet Sport Mediaset claims a deal worth €21m (£16m, $23m) has been agreed between the two parties and the transfer is expected to be completed imminently ahead of the Red Devils' game against Liverpool at Anfield this weekend. The Red Devils have watched the player religiously over the past couple of transfer windows and are set to complete the deal as soon as possible.
United are currently without Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo at left-back, while Antonio Valencia is also out of contention in the opposite part of the field, recovering from a foot injury. Phil Jones is also on the treatment table, leaving Van Gaal to use Ashley Young in defence, with dire consequences in the last few games.
The Red Devils broke an eight-game winless streak in all competitions following their 2-1 triumph over Swansea City, a day into the New Year but were found wanting yet again against Newcastle in a 3-3 draw at St. James Park.
United's fluidity in attack was heavily compromised by their porosity at the back, with Chris Smalling and Daley Blind struggling to cope with the pace of the Newcastle front three. Inexperience in full-back positions has also been a major worry for the Dutchman and Dragovic's arrival will allow Daley Blind to move into left-back, where he has been deployed in the past.
The Red Devils are also in the market to strengthen their attack, keeping an eye on Sadio Mane for a move in January. However, Southampton's reluctance to sell has forced Van Gaal to look at other options, with Lazio midfielder Felipe Anderson on the cards for a move before the end of January.