The Mirror reports.

The Torino centre-half and Italy international has been the subject of two scouting missions as Sir Alex looks to make a defensive addition in the January transfer window. Although, United face stiff competition for a defender wildly held as Italy’s rising star.

Ogbonna participated in Italy’s Euro 2012 campaign but failed to make an appearance as the Azzurri fell at the final hurdle against Spain.

Meanwhile, Rio Ferdinand plays into the final year of his contract, and in light of recent injury concerns Ferguson has begun to deepen his search for a suitable replacement.

With a recent penchant for signing young centre-halves who have only mildly succeeded in fulfilling their promise at Old Trafford, Ferguson feels that an injection of new talent is needed to bolster his defence.

The Red Devils have currently conceded first in nine different league games so far this season, an accolade they share with lowly QPR. United’s defensive deficiencies have led to their deft ability at being able to reclaim the most points – 18 – from a losing position than any team in the Premier League this season.

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