Jerome Boateng has emerged as a Manchester United transfer target as Old Trafford chiefs worry they could fail to reach a breakthrough in their continued push for Tony Alderweireld.
United have opened talks with Bayern, whom they met in a pre-season friendly on Sunday night, over a potential deal for the ex-Manchester City defender, reports the Manchester Evening News.
Boateng has been on United’s list of defensive targets since the start of summer, a list led by Alderweireld and Milan Skriniar.
United have also shown greater interest in Leicester’s Harry Maguire than Boateng but the former City defender could be a more attainable option than the England international and Spurs defender Alderweireld. Boateng, who turns 30 next month, is contracted to Bayern until 2021.
When United manager Jose Mourinho was asked about Boateng by a German interviewer at the Allianz Arena before the Bayern game, he replied: "My CEO knows what I want for quite a long time. He knows what I want, I know that he tries to do the best for me and I still have a few days to wait what is going to happen."
Mourinho declined to speak about Boateng to a Bild reporter after the defeat while the German international snubbed English journalists in the mixed zone after Bayern’s 1-0 win over United.
United are still in dialogue with Spurs over Alderweireld and it is common practice for them to concurrently work on deals for two players with the intention of only signing one.
They opted for Romelu Lukaku over Alvaro Morata last year, Blaise Matuidi was a fall-back option for Paul Pogba and it United chose Victor Lindelof over Michael Keane.
United agreed personal terms with Nemanja Matic last May but their preferred defensive midfield target was Eric Dier, so Matic only signed on July 31.
The club are mindful of the difficulties they have encountered dealing with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy in the past and are reluctant to talk up their pursuit of Alderweireld, despite Spurs being open to selling him.
Will Alderweireld be at Spurs when the window shuts?
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