MANCHESTER UNITED could reportedly turn to Axel Tuanzebe next season in their search for a new centre-back… and save themselves millions.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants a fresh figure at the back to play alongside Harry Maguire, who is currently partnered by Victor Lindelof.
And The Athletic claims Old Trafford chiefs view Tuanzebe, 22, as a new Rio Ferdinand or Nemanja Vidic, potentially saving the club tens of millions in the summer transfer window.
The likes of Marcos Rojo, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones are facing the chop this summer.
And Chris Smalling is reportedly close to extending his Roma loan for another season.
That has seen United linked with a number of top centre-backs in recent weeks.
Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly is of interest to Solskjaer.
And the Norwegian has also been keeping tabs on Inter Milan ace Milan Skriniar.
United are thought to be keen on Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake too.
But they could instead put their faith in Tuanzebe next term.
He has made just ten appearances this season but could find himself thrust into the starting XI once he recovers from a hamstring injury.
United sources apparently feel Tuanzebe can make a similar impact to that of Ferdinand and Vidic, who won five Premier League titles under Sir Alex Ferguson.
And he will now be looking to move forward with his development as opportunities beckon at the Theatre of Dreams.