Jose Mourinho is reportedly in the market for a central defender in the mould of Manchester United legend Nemanja Vidic, according to ESPN FC’s sources.
The Portuguese manager is trying to find a leader for his back-line, someone like Vidic, or his old Chelsea captain John Terry. Despite the capture of Ivory Coast defender Eric Bailly from Villarreal for £30 million , Mourinho is still looking out for a defender who could marshal United’s defence.
The Red Devils hierarchy brought up the possibility of signing Southampton’s Jose Fonte, who has been linked to a switch to Old Trafford in the past. However, Mourinho wants to weigh up all his options before deciding on a specific defender.
ESPN FC’s sources also told them that the possibility of signing Leonardo Bonucci was raised during the on-going negotiations for Paul Pogba’s transfer to United. The Old Trafford club remain interested in the Italian center-back, but are keen to avoid more lengthy discussions with the Turin club.
Everton’s English center-back John Stones is also a reported target, and ESPN FC’s sources report that Everton are willing to sell the defender for £50 million, but he doesn’t fit the category of defender Mourinho wants.
United kick off their season with a Community Shield game against Leicester City before travelling to Bournemouth a week later for their first Premier League game of the season.
With Chris Smalling injured, United still have the likes of new signing Eric Bailly, along with Phil Jones, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo at the back. None of these players are leaders in Mourinho’s eyes, however, which is why he will be on the lookout till the transfer window closes on the 31st of August.
Negotiations between Juventus and Manchester United for the world-record transfer of midfielder Paul Pogba are still on-going, and Mourinho would like to wrap up the deal as soon as possible, so that he can switch his focus on to signing a defender. The manager will hope to have his full desired squad ready and available for the start of the new campaign.