Manchester United will run the rule over Saint-Etienne defender Kévin Malcuit after the West Ham United target impressed Jose Mourinho during his side's Europa League tie with the French outfit.

The Portuguese was impressed by the way Malcuit dealt with tricky customers such as Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford and The Manchester Evening News reports that United scouts will now monitor then coveted 25-year-old between now and the end of
the season.

The news of Manchester United's interest in Malcuit will come as a major blow to West Ham, who Sky Sports suggest are close to a £10m deal with Saint-Etienne over the defender. A right-back is one of West Ham manager Slaven Bilic's top priorities in the summer transfer window and has identified Malcuit as the man who can solve the problem position at the London Stadium.

Bilic attempted to lure Malcuit to London during the January transfer window but Saint-Etienne were reluctant to part with one of their prized assets midway through the season. The former Niort defender has two years left on his contract at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard and has played 27 times for Les Verts this season, providing four assists.

Kevin Malcuit
Malcuit (R) caught Mourinho's eye during Manchester United's battles with Saint-Etienne. Getty Images

The £10m fee would represent a healthy profit for Saint-Etienne, who signed Malcuit from Niort for just £500,000 two years ago, but they would also be losing an integral player who can play a variety of positions.

Many of Manchester United's full-backs face uncertain futures at Old Trafford, with the likes of Luke Shaw and Matteo Darmian linked with moves away from the Red Devils. Shaw, 21, has been almost completely frozen out by Mourinho; he has not started a Premier League match since October.

Manchester United recently handed Antonio Valencia a new contract and has been one of Mourinho's most trusted lieutenants on the pitch this season, but the 31-year-old has struggled with injuries and currently has no real challenger for his place in Manchester.