Manchester United are reportedly set to join the hunt with rivals Arsenal, as Jose Mourinho eyes a sensational return move for former Red Devil and West Bromwich Albion defender Jonny Evans, as fears mount over the severity of Eric Bailly's injury.
The Mirror are linking the 29-year-old Northern Irishman with what would a be a stunning second spell at Old Trafford as defensive problems pile up for boss Jose Mourinho, but will have to fend off the advances of the Gunners who are again set to go in for the defender.
Following the news Bailly could be set for up to three months out following ankle surgery, United are looking to bring in a short-term replacement for the stricken Ivorian.
Having developed in Manchester under the umbrella of the club's youth academy, Evans spent the following nine seasons on the books - including a two-year loan spell at Sunderland between December 2006 and May 2007.
Amassing 131 appearances - initially under Sir Alex Ferguson - the 67-cap Northern Ireland defender was then deemed surplus to requirements by predecessor Louis Van Gaal, as the player made the switch to West Brom in August 2015 for just £6m.
Mourinho is believed to be of the opinion his sale was a huge mistake, and after the likes Manchester City and Arsenal have been linked with moves for the player in the past 18 months, an even more remarkable return to his former employers could now be on the cards.
With summer signing Victor Lindelof enduring a difficult bedding-in spell in the Premier League as well as Marcos Rojo struggling to regain full fitness, Evans could indeed be the subject of a potential switch from the Hawthorns, with Alan Pardew thought to be open to his departure.
The Citizens and Gunners may make their interests known in the new year once again however, so United may have to fend off the advances of their league rivals.