Manchester United could use Eric Bailly in order to land defensive target Pau Torres from Villarreal, according to one report.
Despite a recent upturn in results, United's defence instability has been a cause for concern for some time.
Though the Red Devils currently have as many as six first-team centre-backs, only Harry Maguire (the club captain) and Victor Lindelof look assured of their squad places - though both have also gone through difficult spells in recent months.
90min understands that finding a new centre-back is a United priority for 2021, while Villarreal's 23-year-old Torres is known to be high up on the club's wish list.
However, Torres has a contract that runs until 2024, while his release clause reportedly sits at around £60m, making him an expensive option for United or any other suitor.
In order to reduce their outlay, a report from TEAMtalk claims that United could use out-of-favour Eric Bailly to help lower the price of the Spain international.
26-year-old Bailly, who has made 89 appearances for the Red Devils, joined United from Villarreal back in 2016 for around £30m but has struggled with fitness issues and form in recent years.
TEAMtalk's report does not speculate as to whether Villarreal would be even interested in a return for the defender who spent 18 months at La Ceramica prior to his big-money move to England.
Bailly has made just four appearances in all competitions for United in 2020/21 and is seemingly behind Axel Tuanzebe in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's pecking order for now.
Torres, who has been linked with a host of top European clubs, emerged from the youth ranks at Villarreal and became a first-team regular last season after an initial breakthrough loan at Malaga in the Spanish second tier in 2018/19. He has seven senior Spain caps to date.
In addition to Torres, 90min understands that United are interested in RB Leipzig's Dayot Upamecano, Sevilla's Jules Kounde and Brighton's Ben White.