According to a recent report by the Metro, West Ham United centre-back Issa Diop has ruled out any potential move to Manchester United but has revealed that he was flattered by Jose Mourinho’s recent praise of his talents. It is believed that the Hammers defender is enjoying life at West London following a difficult start to his Premier League career since his £22m move from Toulouse earlier this summer.

In a recent interview, the French defender said, ‘Yes, of course it’s nice. But my coach is Manuel Pellegrini (laughs).

‘So it’s his opinion that interests me the most. He advises me to continue to progress.’

Jose Mourinho is in dire need of some defensive reinforcements following his side’s poor performances at the back this season. Here are three alternative centre-backs for the United boss to consider when the transfer window reopens in January.

James Tarkowski

The Burnley defender has proven his worth in the Premier League over the past couple of seasons. He has begun this campaign in fine form, making 16 appearances for the Lancashire outfit in all competitions and scoring two goals in the league during that time.

Tarkowski would be an ideal option to play alongside Chris Smalling at the heart of the Man United backline so Mourinho should consider making a move for him in January.

Lewis Dunk

The Brighton & Hove Albion defensive star has been a commanding presence at the back for Chris Hughton’s team over the past few years. He is precisely the type of talent who can thrive under Mourinho’s tutelage at Old Trafford. With 49 Premier League matches under his belt, the English centre-half has enough experience to merit a start for a club like Man United as long as he can keep up the same level of performance in high profile matches.

Matthijs de Ligt

The AFC Ajax starlet has been tipped to become a future star in European football. The Dutch defensive ace has managed to come through the youth ranks of Ajax and establish himself as a first-team regular under Erik ten Hag.

It is no secret that the Red Devils need to improve their poor defensive record this season so the acquisition of this Dutch centre-back could be a shrewd move by Mourinho if he can lure de Ligt to ply his trade at the red half of Manchester.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.