Manchester United are being linked with Inter Milan defender Andrea Ranocchia.

The Daily Star says Italian media sources suggest United have been monitoring the £16m San Siro man for a while, but are now facing added competition from Juventus and Napoli.

United have been playing a patient game in the transfer window so far, bringing in right-back Guillermo Varela for a fee of around £1.5m.

And the 25-year-old's 6ft 5in stature would help the North West giants' aerial capabilities.

Tottenham boss Andrea Villas-Boas was also thought to be interested in bringing the centre-back to the Premier League but is believed to have moved on to other targets.