The Manchester United board could be about to scupper Jose Mourinho's transfer plans for the January window, despite the manager's criticism of the club's lack of investment.
The higher-ups at the club are reportedly fully prepared to say no to any deal they don't believe is in the long-term interests of the club, even if it means further unsettling Mourinho, who reportedly remains insistent on bringing in a new centre back at long last.
That's according to ESPN, who cite unnamed sources for their information, and list three central defenders as Mourinho's top three targets: Milan Skriniar, Alessio Romagnoli and Nikola Milenkovic top his shortlist.
It seems to be a departure from Mourinho's established transfer record, as the three players are 23, 23 and 21 respectively, and would offer a long-term solution to United's defensive problems.
This focus on younger talent perhaps bodes well for the club's prospects of getting a deal over the line, as the board are more likely to see a younger player as being beneficial to the club in the long-term.
It doesn't seem, however, as if Mourinho and the club's higher ups can agree on much these days, and if the ESPN report is to be believed, another disagreement over transfer targets could see the Red Devils once again fail to do the transfer business it needs to get back to the vaulted heights of the Premier League.
United were linked with Jerome Boateng, Harry Maguire, Yerry Mina and Toby Alderweireld in the summer, as Mourinho was reportedly desperate to sign a centre back, but the club failed to do so, sparking weeks of criticism from Mourinho over the transfer policy.
He recently applauded Juventus and Everton for their ambition, hinting that United will struggle due to their lack of investment.
United currently sit eighth in the Premier League after ten games.