Thursday 14 December 2017

Manchester United on the cusp of two huge signings - report

New Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho
New Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho

Tom Rooney

Following a fruitful 24 hours of inquiry and haggling, it now looks increasingly likely that Manchester United will secure the signatures of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the next week.

Since being appointed at Old Trafford, Jose Mourinho has only recruited defender Eric Bailly from Valencia but, as he seeks to rebuild United in his own image, the next two additions to the nascent project are being reported as imminent.

According to the Guardian, United are set to table a bid of £30m to prise Mkhitaryan away from Borussia Dortmund, where he has played since joining from Shakhtar Donetsk three years ago.

Despite the Armenian attacker having a year left on his current deal, the German club have publicly declared they would prefer to let him play it out, rather than losing another star now.

Read more: Jose Mourinho is already getting fed up with Ed Woodward 

After the departures of Mats Hummels and Ilkay Gundogan to Bayern Munich and Manchester City respectively, last season’s Bundesliga runner-up are in the midst of a considerable exodus.

What’s more, the playmaker contributed 18 goals and 15 assists in the campaign just passed, so he will leave a considerable void behind.

Mkhitaryan’s agent, Mino Raiola, has criticised Dortmund’s intransigence thus far, however, as evidenced by their bid for Bayern Leverkusen’s Karim Bellarabi, they now appear to have accepted that the 27-year-old will leave.

United are said to be offering Mkhitaryan a five-year contract, and are hopeful the deal will be done within seven days.

With regards to Ibrahimovic, who just retired from international football following an unsuccessful Euros campaign with Sweden, a salary of £220,000 a week has already been agreed with United.

The next phase will be to hash out with Mourinho exactly how prominent a position he’ll enjoy in the side.

Raiola also looks after Ibrahimoivc’s interests, and the pair are said to have met up to once more discuss the one-year deal United are proposing.

Of course, the 34-year-old played under Mourinho at Inter Milan for a season, and both men have expressed a mutual admiration.

Ibrahimovic recently left PSG as a free agent, having won four French titles in as many seasons.

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