• Dortmund are reportedly at the front of the queue to sign the United outcast.
  • But a swap deal for the Germany midfielder is unlikely.

Manchester United are interested in signing Borussia Dortmund midfielder Julian Weigl and hope the German club's interest in Henrikh Mkhitaryan will help smooth a deal for the midfielder.

Dortmund have expressed an interest in bringing Mkhitaryan back to the Westfalenstadion just 18 months on from his £27m arrival at Old Trafford. While the Armenia international played an important role in United's Europa League success last term he has fallen out of favour after a string of underwhelming performances and has now failed to make the United match day squad in eight of their last nine matches.

A January exit is now a real possibility for the attacking midfielder and United will demand a transfer fee of £35m from any club wanting to sign their player, according to the Daily Mail.

Mkhitaryan has also been linked with a move to Serie A giants Inter but the Independent suggests Dortmund are now in the best position to strike a deal with United and bring their former midfielder back to Germany.

United meanwhile are long-term admirers of 22-year-old midfielder Weigl, according to the report, with Mourinho keen to enlist the services of a deep-lying midfielder. While a swap deal involving Weigl and Mkhitaryan is unlikely at this stage, the latter's return to Dortmund would "facilitate negotiations" over the former.

Weigl could be viewed as a long-term successor for United veteran Michael Carrick. The 36-year-old was awarded the captain's armband at Old Trafford following Wayne Rooney's move to Everton but has played just one match this season, taking time out to undergo a series of tests to investigate an irregular heart rhythm.

Carrick hopes to be available for selection again soon but with the club set to offer him a coaching role, a replacement for the 12-year club veteran could be considered sooner rather than later.

Mourinho has reportedly been given the "green light" to strengthen his squad in January with a left-back thought to be high up on the manager's list of priorities. United had been strongly linked with a £50m move for Tottenham Hotspur star Danny Rose, although recent reports would suggest the club's preferred target is now Juventus defender Alex Sandro, who could be available for £60m.

Julian Weigl
Weigl reportedly a United target. Getty