Manchester United chiefs have reportedly held talks with Lille defender Gabriel’s agent over a prospective transfer.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to bolster his squad this summer in the hope of challenging Manchester City and Liverpool for the title next season.
While Jadon Sancho remains the priority addition in the transfer window, reports suggest Solskjaer is also keen to recruit a centre-back to partner Harry Maguire.
Solskjaer is said to have informed executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward of his desire to strengthen at the back.
And it seems the Old Trafford hierarchy could well be listening with respected French journalist Mohamed Bouhafsi claiming the Red Devils are battling Everton over his signature.
“Agents of #Gabriel have met the leaders of Manchester United in England,” he tweeted.
“For the moment no concrete offer in Lille but discussions. Everton and especially Naples are there too.
“A 4th club has entered the race. The player/agents reflect.”
Asked by a fan if he thought United would sign them, Bouhafsi suggested United are in talks with several of their transfer targets.
“It's a bit early to say it, on both sides. The agents raise the auctions,” he said.
“And Manchester United is working on several files at the same time.”
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United face strong competition from Everton though with the 22-year-old previously undergoing a medical at the Toffees before lockdown.
Everton are yet to agree a deal though and Gabriel could now be considering other other options with the likes of United showing interest.
Lille will listen to offers of around €30million (£27m) for Gabriel.
Earlier this week, former United striker Dimitar Berbatov backed Solskjaer’s desire for a new centre-back.
“They need a centre-back, maybe a right back also as Aaron Wan-Bissaka is the only option at the moment,” he said.
“It looks like Alexis Sanchez might stay at Inter permanently, which would make room for Jadon Sancho to go to United from Dortmund, and it would be a very interesting transfer.
“But who, out of Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood or Anthony Martial, makes way for Sancho?
“If they get the England man and the defenders, they can improve to a higher level.
“I don’t want to see Greenwood dropped at this point while he develops, he could be very special and has earned his chance to shine next season.”