Saturday 17 February 2018

Mourinho fails in very personal bid to sign Real Madrid star - report

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho. Photo: PA
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho. Photo: PA
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

The efforts of Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho to sign a central defender in this transfer window appear to hit a roadblock, amid reports that he has failed in a personal bid to sign Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane.

Cadena Cope radio station are reporting that Real Madrid allowed their French international centre-back to speak with Mourinho, who offered him a hue pay rise if he made the move to Manchester.

Yet Varane has decided to remain in the Spanish capital, forcing Mourinho to consider alternative defensive options in the final days of the transfer window.

United are keen to bolster their defensive line before next Wednesday's transfer deadline, with Southampton defender Jose Fonte another name on Mourinho's wish list.

And in the opinion of former United defender Rio Ferdinand, Mourinho needs to add to his defensive option as he tries to piece together a title winning campaign.

"A great defence is built around strong working relationships between the four guys and the trouble for United has been that their best players have not all been available at the same time in the last year,” says Ferdinand.

“Luke Shaw was out for most of last season, Chris Smalling is out injured now and they have a winger playing in the right full-back position.

“It’s not an ideal situation and while all the attention has been on strengthening the attacking side of the team since Mourinho came in, you would have some concerns about the defence as the four best players are not getting the chance to play together for one reason or another.

“What you would say is that Mourinho had tended to get the defensive side of the game right wherever he has gone and he will find a way to blend this team together. Hopefully he will do that again."

Fonte may well be Mourinho's most viable defensive capture, as he targets a final signing of a summer that has already seen him splash the cash to capture Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Eric Bailly and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

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