Man United planning to make January swoop for world-class no.4 valued at £40m

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Manchester United will pursue a £40 million move for Toby Alderweireld in January after Jose Mourinho urged club chiefs to sign a defender.

The Belgian defender is entering the final six months of his contract in north London and – even if Tottenham trigger a 12-month extension clause in his deal – he will be available for £25 million this summer.

The Red Devils feel this will pressurise the club into cashing in on and have agreed to target the 29-year-old next month with the club hopeful that they will not pay a penny over £40 million.

Jose Mourinho’s first choice defender is said to be Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly, but the 27-year-old is rated at around £90 million, and 20-times English champions are unlikely to sanction a world record move for the defender.

The Senegal international is understood to have told Manchester United that he would be open to a move but he signed a new long-term contract with Napoli last summer, and a move in January appears unlikely.

The Portuguese manager is expected to ring the changes for the final Champions League group game against Valencia with Sergio Romero, Andreas Pereira, Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay all expected to start.