Tuesday 20 August 2019

Jose Mourinho makes Valencia's Carlos Soler Manchester United's No 1 transfer target in January

Jose Mourinho has identified Carlos Soler as his No 1 target in the January window. Getty
Jose Mourinho has identified Carlos Soler as his No 1 target in the January window. Getty

Miguel Delaney

Jose Mourinho currently sees Valencia’s Carlos Soler as his main January transfer target, in what is likely to be a limited window for Manchester United.

While the Portuguese still wants to bring in a winger and regrets not signing Internazionale’s Ivan Perisic in the summer due to the effect it has had on his attacking plans, the club have already made it known that funds for purchases will be much more constrained than then, and the United boss has in that time become increasingly concerned on how injury to Paul Pogba has had a greater effect on his whole team.

The absence of the French star due to a hamstring problem has suddenly seen United forced to play a much less expansive game without his passing, having left Mourinho with few alternative options in midfield.

Soler has meanwhile greatly impressed United staff in the 11 months since making his debut for Valencia in December.

Even though he is just 20, the Spanish under-21 international has shown many qualities United lack as well as a maturity, and would likely cost around £40m.

United have also considered the possibility of offering Andreas Pereira - who is currently thriving on loan at Valencia - plus cash for Soler.

Valencia are enjoying something of a revival on the sporting side, second in the league and thriving under new coach Marcelino but the club is still in a financial hole.

This year they recorded a €26m deficit, their third consecutive annual loss. Those losses stack up to around €70m and despite their lofty league position there is an understanding that it would be financially disastrous if they cannot find a way to return to the Champions League.

Sources inside the Spanish club insist that Soler, an academy product, is way down the list of players that they want to sell but, equally, concede that a big offer from United would force the hand of a club still struggling to balance the books.

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