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Jose Mourinho’s unfinished business

Jose Mourinho has made two signings so far this summer in an effort to elevate the current squad to a level at which challenging for a title is more realistic. The arrivals of Victor Lindelöf and Romelu Lukaku both addressed massive needs but there are still more issues in the team that need to be corrected. Despite recently being named club captain, a replacement central midfielder to accompany Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba in a three-man midfield is necessary. Michael Carrick works as a deep-lying playmaker but it is rumored Mourinho would be more keen to bring in a player in the mold of Nemanja Matic. A player that can protect the back four while still making contributions to build up play would be an ideal complement to United’s two midfield stalwarts. It can also be argued a fullback and a replacement for Wayne Rooney are needed but neither are as pressing as the need for a midfielder.

It has been reported by numerous sources including The Sun that Mourinho still has £100 million left to spend this window. It appears that a move for a midfielder is imminent, the question is not if it will happen but who it will be. Eric Dier is reportedly interested in moving to Old Trafford. There are questions regarding his quality and the astronomical price tag that will likely come with acquiring him. Daniel Levy will no doubt hold out for an extremely high fee, upwards of £50 million, according to Manchester Evening News. After the departure of Kyle Walker, another key member of Tottenham Hotspur’s squad, there is no doubt Levy will be reluctant to lose any further pieces.

Ivan Perisic has been consistently linked with United since Mourinho was first reported to have been scouting him at a Croatian national team match. While he fits the Mourinho mould as a winger who is capable of performing defensive duties he is not the marquis name many United fans have been hoping for. Inter is also holding out for over £40 million, recently asking for Anthony Martial and a further £20 million making this an unlikely deal.

Matic prior to the Lukaku swoop made by Woodward appeared to be nearly a done deal. It is highly unlikely that this deal will be completed after such a public failure by Antonio Conte’s men. Matic has reportedly been allowed to skip Chelsea’s pre-season tour, giving hope that he could still possibly force a deal between the two Premier League giants. Fabinho plays a similar role to Matic while also being capable at right back. Fabinho is less of a destroyer in the central defensive midfield position but is the favored option by fans to Matic. It has recently been reported after Woodward’s issues with Matic, Fabinho has reemerged as an option. This will likely be a more difficult ask than before as Atletico Madrid are reported to have joined the race for his signature along with Manchester City, United, and Paris Saint-Germain.

Perisic seems to be the most likely to eventually become a Manchester United player, and his fee will likely leave over half of Mourinho’s transfer funds left over to be used. If United were to finish their summer transfer business with the addition Fabinho, the team will have acquired an up and coming, versatile, defensive midfielder capable of freeing Pogba and Herrera. Perisic will add depth to the winger positions and will likely be a good fit in Mourinho’s system. What that means for the futures of players like Martial, Pereira, and Rashford remains to be seen.

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