According to the Daily Mirror, Porto star Mangala has been identified as the long-term replacement for the retiring Ferdinand.
Ferdinand has had his final season at Manchester United disrupted by numerous injuries – making just seven Premier League starts so far this campaign.
Mangala, a 22-year-old French international - a reported transfer target for neighbours Manchester City during the January transfer window - has all the ingredients, however, to be a world class central defender.
The Frenchman has started 13 league games this season for champions Porto, helping the club to seven clean sheets as they look to pip Benfica and Sporting Lisbon to yet another title.
More impressive, however, were Mangala’s performances in this season’s Champions League. The defender started all six games, making 25 clearances and proved to be almost impossible to pass, such was his positional play and strength against attackers.
Manchester United might find they are in a fight to sign Mangala, however, with both Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain also thought to be looking the player over. If Manchester United manager David Moyes is serious about strengthening his defence - and building for the future - he will have to stump up a fee of at least £35m if he is to capture the Porto champ.
Should Eliaquim Mangala be a priority for Manchester United in the summer ?