Alex Sandro
Alex Sandro in action in the Champions League against Zenit St. Petersburg. [Reuters]

Manchester United's long search for a long-term replacement for Patrice Evra may soon be over as they attempt to persuade Porto to part with Brazil international Alex Sandro.

Evra is out of contract at Old Trafford next summer and there has been a suggestion that he may seek a new challenge after nine trophy laden seasons with the club.

United boss David Moyes attempted to address the situation over the course of the summer but multiple bids for Leighton Baines were rejected by Everton and reports have suggested he may now look to switch targets.

The Daily Express reports that the Premier League champions have turned their attention to Sandro who has struggled for regular game time at Porto since moving to the club in the summer of 2011 from Brazilian outfit Santos.

The 22-year-old has been at the club during a hugely successful period but he has yet to establish himself at left-back despite representing Brazil on six occasions.

However, he has clearly caught the eye when he has played as Italian giants Inter Milan have already had an offer of £12.5m rejected by Porto.

Portuguese newspaper Record states that Inter may well return with an improved offer but they will face competition from Manchester United who are considering making an offer in January.

Sandro may well still be a cheaper option to United than Baines, Real Madrid's Fabio Conetrao or Southampton's Luke Shaw who have also been mentioned as possible targets for United.

Moyes does already have back-up to Evra at the club in the form of Alex Buttner but the Dutch defender has struggled to force his way into contention and has made just one appearance in the Premier League, playing the full 90 minutes in the 2-1 loss to West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford.