Rumours of the Red Devils targeting Coleman, whom David Moyes tried to bring to Old Trafford in summer 2013, emerged over the weekend courtesy of The Sunday People, with Jose Mourinho seemingly unconvinced by Antonio Valencia – whilst Matteo Darmian was linked with a return to Italy during the last few weeks of the summer transfer window.
Not to be outdone, however, The Independent and The Daily Star both claim United also have their eyes on Coleman’s team-mate Romelu Lukaku – who boasts five goals in as many starts in the Premier League last season.
Both sources discuss the Belgium international’s inability to break into the Chelsea first team under Jose Mourinho, forcing him to leave for Everton (initially on loan) in summer 2013, but The Independent allege the Special One has ‘appeared to have performed a U-turn’ on the striker he once doubted would develop into a world-class front-man.
An intriguing question. In regards to the January transfer window, Coleman would surely take priority. Mourinho already has his proven goalscorer in summer signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, whilst Marcus Rashford is easily the most exciting second-choice striker in the Premier League. Furthermore, Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial can man the front line if required, although both have struggled for goals so far this season.
At right-back, on the other hand, the situation is a little murkier. Antonio Valencia’s certainly not let anyone down this season but he’s still a winger converted into a right-back and it seems inevitable that lack of natural defensive instinct will catch up with him at some point. Likewise, Mourinho’s sides have always been built upon perfect balance rather than square pegs in round holes. And as previously mentioned, Darmian appears to be completely out of the picture, his only appearance this season coming in the Europa League.
Long-term, however, Lukaku seems a more likely priority. Ibrahimovic’s contract includes the option of a further year but there’s no suggestion United will activate it just yet, with the Swede recently turning 35. And despite Rashford’s talent, he’s not Mourinho’s usual template of striker – Lukaku, on the other hand, measuring in at 6 foot 3, follows the target man mould Mourinho utilised so effectively at Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.