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.