Arsenal legend Martin Keown has been giving his opinion on which defenders Manchester United should sign in January.
Given the current injury problems that Red Devils manager Louis van Gaal has and the lack of a truly world-class centre-back in the team, there are strong suggestions that the Dutchman will delve into the January transfer market.
Keown, one of the greatest defenders ever to have played the game, believes that Van Gaal should go to Madrid to do his January shopping.
'It will be difficult for them to sign a really top player', the former England international told the Daily Mail. 'I’m a big fan of Raphael Varane at Real Madrid and would probably have a look at him.
'He is the best young centre-back out there, but still has room to improve and perhaps another young defender is not what United need.
'He would be difficult to prise out of Madrid, but if he’s not playing because of the form of Pepe and Sergio Ramos, then maybe he might want to play.
'On the other hand, if he is the future for Madrid then perhaps Pepe or Ramos could be convinced to move on. Ramos in particular would be an excellent addition'.
It is Keown’s opinion and the defenders he names will indeed be great additions to the United team. But fans of the Manchester outfit should not start believing that they will get them.
First of all, Raphael Varane recently signed a new contract that will see him remain at Madrid until 2020. The France international centre-back was linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer transfer window, but he himself gave no concrete signs that he wants to leave the Spanish giants.
If the rest of Europe is aware of the fact that Varane is the ‘best young centre-back', then it would be naive to believe that Madrid president Florentino Perez and coach Carlo Ancelotti do not know that.
Then there is the Sergio Ramos question. Once again, at this moment in time it looks almost impossible to believe that the Spain international centre-back will leave Madrid anytime soon.
Ramos has been at Madrid since 2005 and is one of the most influential players at the club. It was he and Iker Casillas who reportedly stood up to Jose Mourinho last season - that's how much importance he has at the Bernabeu.
The 28-year-old is easily one of the best three centre-backs in the world and will be a massive upgrade on the defenders United have at the moment, but there is next to no chance of the Red Devils being able to sign him in January or next summer.
It is good to see a former Premier League player such as Keown appreciate the quality of defenders that La Liga possesses, but his words should not raise the hopes and expectations of the United fans.