Jose Mourinho's five man shortlist as he prioritises signing a CB in January

Jose Mourinho wants to bolster the centre of his defence this season

It's clear that Manchester United need to spend big in January if they want to have any chance of finishing in the Premier League top four.

Jose Mourinho's side have picked up just 26 points from their opening 16 Premier League games and are currently a mammoth 16 points back from Liverpool.

Sealing a Champions League spot seems a more achievable target, but even that seems a long shot at the moment with United eight points behind Chelsea in fourth.

A big reason for their poor performances this season has been their incompetence in defence.

Mourinho's side have conceded 26 Premier League goals this season and have only kept two clean sheets.

That is despite them having one of the world's best goalkeepers, David de Gea, between the sticks.

Mourinho will undoubtedly point to his lack of options he has at the centre of defence.

It was well documented that the Portuguese manager was after a centre-back in the summer.

Toby Alderwiereld and Harry Maguire were main targets for much of the transfer window, but Mourinho could not seal a deal for either.

However, despite that disappointment, Mourinho is said to be prioritising a move for a centre-back once again this January.

Mourinho has created a shortlist of five names as he looks to bolster his defensive options

According to the Evening Standard, Mourinho has five names in his 'sights'.

His main target appears to be Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli.

United are said to have already made two bids for the Senegalese international rejected but that has not put Mourinho off.

They are currently preparing a third offer and are even prepared to smash the transfer record for the £100m-rated defender.

Man United are preparing a third offer for Kalidou Koulibaly

United are also said to be still after Maguire and Alderwiereld, while Mourinho is also a fan of both Milan Skriniar and Alessio Romagnoli.

Koulibaly is United's main target though and, with Napoli crashing out of the Champions League on Tuesday night, United's chances of landing the defender have been boosted.

The Standard go on to add that Mourinho could sell Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo in order to make way for a new recruit.

Who should Mourinho buy to strengthen his defence? Have your say by leaving a comment below.

News Now - Sport News