After Mats Hummels revealed that he rejected the chance to join Manchester United, instead opting to remain as the club captain of Borussia Dortmund, Louis Van Gaal will no doubt be frustrated to miss out on a player believed to be one of his primary targets this summer.
That said, United are expected to act quickly in terms of bringing in defensive reinforcements ahead of the new season, so who could we see lining out at Old Trafford come August?
Here are five alternatives to Mats Hummels that Manchester United could target in the coming months.
Nicolas Otamendi - Valencia
Argentinian media have today been talking as if Otamendi to United is a done deal, and it is believed that Van Gaal is a fan of the tough tackling former Porto man who has shone for Valencia this season. His physical presence and no-bullshit approach are something United have been severely lacking since the departure of Nemanja Vidic.
Aymeric Laporte - Athletic Bilbao
The last time Manchester United took a young lad over from Bilbao, it was Ander Herrera, so were they to dip into the transfer kitty to bring highly rated French youngster Laporte to the club there would be a good bit of excitement over his future, but do United really need another young defender with potential?
Raphael Varane - Real Madrid
A much more sure bet if United were to decide to go with youth would be Real Madrid's Raphael Varane, who has been linked to the club consistently over the past 18 months. The issue here would be that Real Madrid surely would be in no rush to sell such a promising young defender, but then again, you never know.
Aleksandar Dragovic - Dynamo Kiev
If United really are looking to fill the physical void left by Vidic, then Austrian centre back Aleksandar Dragovic may not be the worst option. Vidic himself was signed from the Russian league, and Dragovic has impressed after making the move from FC Basel.
Fabian Schar - FC Basel
One of the highest rated young defenders in Europe, Schar has received praised for his performances for Basel in the Champions League and will surely make the step up to one of the biggest clubs on the continent soon.