The 24-year-old Serbian international has been suggested as a long term replacement for current United captain Nemanja Vidic.
However, with Dortmund under no pressure to sell given Subotic is a regularly starter for the side and the club has just announced profits, United seem ready to think outside the box over how to get him.
Dortmund have the centre-back tied down to a long term deal and Jurgen Klopp would be unwilling to break up his side in the middle of the season, which would delay any exchange until next summer at the earliest.
Vidic is now into his 30s and although he is a world class defender, he’s not going to play on forever.
However, United already have several good quality defenders who can play central defensive roles, all experienced in Premier League football; Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans.
The arrival of Subotic could be seen as a negative by any player in the current United squad, with eyes on a long term place in the middle of the team’s defence.
Each of those current United players can play a variety of roles across the back four and in the cases of Jones and Smalling, that has been especially prevalent.
Any of those three defenders could become one of the great United defenders if they are given a chance to settle down into a central defensive role, not to be switched around with their position across the back four.
In contrast what United lack at the moment is a lot of creativity in the middle of their team.
Shinji Kagawa doesn’t convince David Moyes, that much is clear, but he’s still arguably the best creative midfield player at Old Trafford which seems strange because he’s not playing regularly.
Kagawa’s ability to keep the ball, play simple passes but also play complicated passes which can unlock a side is something United need right now, as opposed to something they have too much of.
In short, United would be getting a player they don’t necessarily need who wouldn’t make a major difference to the current side and losing a player who could be very influential if he’s given a chance.
If United are going to go anywhere near a swap deal with Borussia Dortmund, they need to try and get a similar player coming in their direction, someone who can create things in midfield and add creative style to the current team.
What do you think? Which player is more important for United?
image: © Schwenke