Manchester United are ready to step up their interest in Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng as the Red Devils look to strengthen their defensive unit ahead of the transfer deadline, according to a report on ESPN.

United boss Jose Mourinho is not happy with the state of his current squad and is desperate to add a centre-back before the transfer window slams shut this Thursday.

Christof Koepsel/Getty Images Sport

Mourinho knows that it will be very difficult for his side to challenge for the Premier League title without signing a world-class centre-back in the next few days.

Leicester defender Harry Maguire and Tottenham Hotspur’s Toby Alderweireld have been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford in recent weeks.

However, with United having no luck in their pursuit of the pair, they seem to have turned their attention to German international Boateng, who is flirting with a move away from Bayern.

The centre-back is widely considered as one of the best players in his position in the world and helped Germany win the World Cup back in 2014.

The German Bundesliga champions are willing to allow Boateng to leave if a bid of around £50m is made, which is something United will consider as that is considerably cheaper than what they will be required to pay for Maguire or Alderweireld.

United need to act quickly as the transfer deadline is just around the corner and if they do not make any new additions before Thursday, then Mourinho has warned that his side will face a very “difficult” season.

Boateng erb