Jose Mourinho to Manchester United is edging ever closer, with rumours of a deal having been agreed and Louis van Gaal sacked.
Mourinho will demand control at Manchester United and he will desperately crave a squad overhaul. LVG’s FA Cup win will not be enough to keep him in a job and, despite some success stories, the squad needs a huge amount of improvement for it to reach the standards that Mourinho has become accustomed to.
Some of the younger players will be, rightly so, fearing for their futures, whilst every player must be wary of the arrival of Jose Mourinho. The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ will still believe every player in the world wants to play under him and he must be setting the standards pretty high if he is to quieten the disgruntled tones coming out of Old Trafford.
We all know what Mourinho demands, as will the players within one session of working with him. If Manchester United are to genuinely compete at the pinnacle of Europe football once more, Ed Woodward will have to take Mourinho’s word on the transfers.
Here are FIVE that could be perfect…
Vidal has reinvented himself under the stewardship of Pep Guardiola at Bayern. From often functioning as a supporting forward at both Juventus and Chile, he is now a defensive player primarily.
Mourinho would adore the tireless work that Vidal gets through, which perfectly suits the game that Mourinho demands of his players. His versatility would suit United currently, too.
Mourinho is no stranger to signing a veteran and Pepe might just be the next one that takes the Portuguese’s fancy.
One of his leading warriors during his time as Real Madrid manager, Pepe’s no-nonsense defending and hot-temper personify Mourinho’s approach in many ways. Chris Smalling might benefit from a long-term defensive partner and Pepe may just be that man.
One of the most inconsistent players in the Premier League, Mane has the pace to appeal to a manager like Mourinho. Often priding himself on teams with a rapid transition from defence to attack, Mane my be ideal for the ex-Chelsea boss, as he is one of of the most lethal counter-attacking players in England.
Goals are not always a staple of his game, unfortunately, but, considering the weaknesses in United’s attack, Mane would inject something they have really lacked.
Poor Juan Mata is likely to be shunned by Jose Mourinho again, but it does leave the door open for a new creator in the United side.
With Wayne Rooney dropping deeper and chance creation being an issue, a player of Mahrez’s ingenuity and attacking verve would be welcomed by the club. The tireless running associated with most Mourinho players is not exactly a key part of Mahrez’s game, but Mourinho often allows himself one player who will be relied on to provide the creativity, and Mahrez might just be that man.
One of the great modern footballing terriers, Nainggolan is a true handful in central midfield. AS Roma have used the Belgian in a number of different roles, but he is at his all-action best when he can dominate all areas of the pitch from a box-to-box role.
Schneiderlin could well be looking for a new midfield partner and Nainggolan just has that whiff of Mourinho about him.