Manchester United have been suffering from a shortage of defensive options for some time and Sir Alex Ferguson is weighing up a move for the highly-touted Nathaniel Clyne to strengthen his squad for the upcoming Premier League title fight.
The problems started in early December when captain Nemanja Vidic was ruled out for the season with a cruciate ligament problem and things have worsened since.
Rio Ferdinand continues to be troubled by small problems, with a reoccurrence of his long-term back injury the latest setback to rule him out of the victory at Arsenal.
Now Phil Jones has added his name to the injury list, after lasting just 17 minutes against Arsenal before being forced off with an ankle complaint.
Jones has missed other games of late, but the latest injury is expected to sideline him for a few weeks.
Throw in that Patrice Evra was also in the wars against Arsenal and Manchester United are effectively without all four members of their first choice backline.
A new face could help them through this difficult period and Manchester United effectively have the choice of whether to think short term and bring somebody in on loan or target a young talent that may have a bright long-term future at Old Trafford.
It seems that the second option is the preferred of Sir Alex and an offer of £3m is being prepared for Crystal Palace full-back Nathaniel Clyne.
Clyne has garnered interest from the Premier League in the past, with Newcastle and Everton known to be interested parties and his reluctance to sign a new deal at Selhurst Park has left Crystal Palace resigned to losing their young star.
A club the size of Manchester United would be difficult to turn down, especially as he would be in with a chance of gaining an early Premier League winners’ medal.
After beating Arsenal, Manchester United’s odds are 2/1 to win the Premier League.