Torino sporting director Gianluca Petrachi has confirmed that Manchester United are pursuing their center back Angelo Ogbonna. Speculation has linked United with the 24-year-old in recent weeks and the Daily Mail claims that United scouts have watched him on several occasions already this season.
Ogbonna excelled in helping Torino win promotion from Serie B last season and also earned his first caps for Italy as well as a place in their squad for Euro 2012.
Petrachi insisted that he will not be allowed to leave with a fight.
"I guarantee there are observers of many foreign clubs who follow our games, including United's scouts," Petrachi said, according to ESPN.
"Most of the time they come just to see Ogbonna because he is a player who has great potential. Last year we refused £10 million for him but it is clear he is worth more than £16 million. Angelo has the desire to do better but I believe he should continue to grow with Torino."
United’s squad is full of options in central defense, although Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have all had injury problems in recent times. With Ferdinand’s career coming to an end, neither of the younger defenders have yet established themselves as a future mainstay in the United back line. Ferguson may feel Ogbonna is that man.
Ogbonna is not the only central defender to be linked with United of late, with Portuguese publication Record making the surprising proclamation that the club is interested in signing Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane.
United made efforts to sign the 19-year-old Frenchman before he moved to Real last summer. Record now reports that, because of limited opportunities at the Bernabeu, Varane is once again attracting interest from United as well as Liverpool, Tottenham, Lyon and Queens Park Rangers.
The report comes at a surprising time with Varane making his first appearance of the season against Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Manchester United have also been linked with a move for Valencia’s Sofiane Feghouli in recent times. The 22-year-old arrived form French side Grenoble two years ago and, after a brief loan spell with Almeria, established himself in the first team at the Mestalla last season. Already this campaign, the attacking midfielder has scored twice in five appearances. After representing France at youth level, Feghouli has gone on to play at full international level with Algeria.
According to the Daily Mail, Spanish reports suggest United are monitoring Feghouli, while Spartak Moscow are also interested.
Another La Liga star linked with a move to Old Trafford is Malaga star Isco. TalkSport reports that Manchester United, along with Arsenal, monitored the attacking midfielder over the summer. It is now claimed that Juventus have joined the race for the Spain Under-21 international.
Already highly-rated, Isco gained further acclaim as he scored two stunning goals for Malaga in their opening Champions League encounter with Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday. Spanish publication El Mundo Deportivo has since reported that Liverpool are keen to take him to Anfield.
With the recent signing of Shinji Kagawa, Isco, though, talented, would seem an unlikely signing for United.