Saturday 17 February 2018

Reports: Leicester star could be on his way back to Man United in unexpected swap deal

Danny Drinkwater and Morgan Schneiderlin
Danny Drinkwater and Morgan Schneiderlin

Tom Rooney

As Paul Pogba can attest, Manchester United are not above giving second chances to their academy graduates who moved on to pastures anew, and another potential prodigal son could be on his way back to Old Trafford in January.

Danny Drinkwater played the full 90 minutes yesterday as Leicester slumped to their second 4-1 league defeat in three games.

The champions loss to Manchester United was preceded by a 3-0 win over Burnley but, a week previous, Liverpool had also inflicted an identical thumping on the Foxes.

Last season’s fairy-tale title winners are now in 12th spot, with just two wins from their opening six games.

It is likely Drinkwater is familiar with every blade of grass on that exalted turf, given he joined United at the tender age of nine.

However, he never made a senior appearance for the Red Devils and, between 2008 and 2012, was loamed out to Huddersfield Town, Cardiff City, Watford and Barnsley.

After four nomadic years, he was signed by Leicester for an undisclosed fee and played a vital role in their ascent back to the Premier League for the first time in a decade.

Last term, Drinkwater, in light of the breakout campaigns of Jamie Vardy, N’Golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez, was somewhat of an unsung hero.

Partnering Kante at the base of midfield, Drinkwater’s clever distribution ideally complimented the Frenchman’s industry.

Of course, Kante was sold to Chelsea this summer but Drinkwater, like Vardy, Mahrez, Wes Morgan, Claudio Ranieri and Kasper Smeichel, extended his deal at the King Power Stadium.

However, the Sun recently reported that Manchester United were willing to part with up to €35m to bring the 26-year-old back to his native city.

United’s midfield is a far from settled unit, though Ander Herrera did impress alongside Pogba yesterday.

That said, when considering the limitations of Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick’s age, Daley Blind’s ability to occupy centre and left back, and the freezing out of Bastian Schweinsteiger, midfield could hardly be considered an area of depth for Mourinho.

One player omitted from that list is Morgan Schneiderlin, who was bought by Louis Van Gaal from Southampton just over a year ago.

Schneiderlin was a source of great stability in the Saints midfield, but he has thus far failed to assert himself at Old Trafford. He was not in the match day squad yesterday and has made just one league appearance this season, which was off the bench.

Mourinho blocked a potential move to Spurs last month but now, according to the Mirror, Leicester will want the Frenchman were Drinkwater to go the other way.

It is thought clubs are in discussions about closing the deal as soon as the winter window.

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