Saturday 18 August 2018

Jose Mourinho ready to take €56m gamble on Jerome Boateng

Bayern Munich's Jerome Boateng pictured during training. Photo: REUTERS/Michael Dalder
Bayern Munich's Jerome Boateng pictured during training. Photo: REUTERS/Michael Dalder

Sam Wallace

Manchester United are in negotiations to sign Jerome Boateng from Bayern Munich in an effort to solve one of Jose Mourinho's biggest issues before the new Premier League season kicks off on Friday.

The German club have priced the 29-year-old at €56m (£50m) and will sell only if they can find a replacement before the main European transfer window closes on August 31.

The former Manchester City defender is by no means United's first choice - they have failed so far in bids for Harry Maguire and Yerry Mina.

But such is Mourinho's dissatisfaction with the defenders at his disposal, he has decided that Boateng is an acceptable alternative.

Mourinho said on Sunday, after their final pre-season friendly, against Bayern in Munich, that United chief executive Ed Woodward "knows what I want for quite a long time" and was doing his best.

Boateng was injured in April, but made it back to play for Germany at the World Cup finals, where his form suggested that his best days may be behind him, leaving Bayern happy to cash in if they can find a replacement before the end of the month.

United, meanwhile, remain firm in their resolve not to sell Paul Pogba, despite reports of his agent Mino Raiola agitating for a move.

Barcelona and Juventus are interested in the World Cup-winning star, but the English club have made it clear that he is not for sale.

Some issues from last season remain unresolved between Pogba and Mourinho - especially in terms of the manager's tactics and how the pair interact.

That has led to Raiola looking at what else is out there for his client, with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola famously revealing last season that he had been offered the midfielder.

Despite their differences, Mourinho accepts that it would be folly to sell Pogba now.

That is even more pronounced for United as a whole, who see Pogba as central to their commercial plans as much as on the pitch. (©Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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