Former Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho made no secret of his desire to strengthen his defensive options last summe
The Red Devils were linked with the likes of Leicester’s Harry Maguire, Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld and Atletico Madrid’s Diego Godin.
However, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward opted not to splash the cash and Mourinho endured struggles defensively for the first half of the campaign.
Heading into the January transfer window, Mourinho, and now the board, were keen on bringing in an experienced centre-half.
ESPN claim Newcastle captain Lascelles was a late addition to Mourinho’s targets and the club were ready to make a move for him in January.
However, the Portuguese boss was sacked in the lead up to Christmas with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer taking charge on an interim basis.
United opted not to strengthen last month with Solskjaer keen to get to grips with his squad and willing to promote younger players into the first team.
Lascelles has since signed a new long-term deal with the Magpies that keeps him at St James’ Park until 2024.
United have now found their feet under Solskjaer, in the league at least, but the club are still looking to improve defensively in the summer.
Interest could be renewed in long-term targets Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli and Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar, although both would command hefty fees.
Speaking last month, Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson suggested three defensive players the Red Devils should be looking to sign.
“Defensively they are not good enough, they need defenders,” he said. Toby Alderweireld and Kalidou Koulibaly are two players United should be targeting. Those two are the best two centre-backs in the world, along with Thiago Silva.
“Alderweireld probably could be purchased at a reasonable price, too.”
Spurs opted to extend Alderweireld’s contract by an extra year last month, keeping him at the club until the end of next season.