Much to José Mourinho’s disgust/disappointment/fury, Manchester United didn’t sign a new centre-back over the summer, and that’s, at least according to the Portuguese manager, one of the main reasons they are struggling so much this season.

Toby Alderweireld, Harry Maguire and co. were all targeted without success, and many believe the Red Devils will return for another attempt for the Belgian in January.

However, if La Repubblica, relayed by Calciomercato, are to be believed, a new target has been added to Mourinho’s notebook, and it’s Sampdoria’s Joachim Andersen.

The Danish defender has impressed greatly this season, following in the footsteps of the now Inter centre-back Milan Skriniar, and it seems his time in Genoa could already be up, with a number of clubs after his services.

According to the newspaper, the reason Mourinho has turned his head towards the Dane is Stefano Rapetti, who arrived at Manchester United in the summer as the new head of fitness.

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In a similar role at Sampdoria prior to the move, the Italian reportedly told the Special One (they knew each other from their time together at Inter) about Andersen, and scouts were swiftly dispatched to keep an eye on him.

La Repubblica claim four of them were present in Genoa on Sunday to watch the game between Sampdoria and Torino, which ended in the home team losing 4-1 due to an inspired Andrea Belotti.

While that performance wasn’t particularly impressive, the Italian newspaper state the previous reports were ‘extremely positive’, to such an extent that Mourinho is ‘convinced’ about an eventual purchase.

That’s why they believe an offer could arrive on Sampdoria’s desk, but Massimo Ferrero, the club’s chairman, isn’t expected to listen to anything below €30m.

Any transfer will also apparently take place in the summer, as the club aren’t interested in selling in January.

However, we all know money talks, and if Manchester United really want someone, and the entire hierarchy are in agreement, the chequebook will be opened, and can be very, very convincing.