With Jose Mourinho ‘expecting’ to be Manchester United’s next manager and Louis van Gaal unlikely to be able to guide his Red Devils back into the Champions League, it’s looking more and more likely that ‘The Special One’ will be back in the Premier League sooner rather than later.
Even though Mourinho was a key part of the bewildering Chelsea collapse prior to Christmas, his stock remains high, and with Man United one of the most financially powerful football clubs on the planet, he would surely have the funds and appeal to entice top quality players to Old Trafford, even with only the Europa League to offer.
As such, we rounded up TEN potential marquee buys to kick of the ‘Jose Revolution’ at the Theatre of Dreams and let YOU LOT vote for the one the Portuguese tactician should sign. The result wasn’t quite what we were expecting… and here are the top FIVE.
Why Manchester United let Pogba leave back in 2012 will remain one of football’s great mysteries. Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t make too many transfer gaffes, but the Frenchman’s free move to Juventus has left the Scot even redder in the face than normal, with the 23-year-old having developed into, arguably, the finest all-round young midfielder on the planet.
Alas, despite the links with a stunning move to lure him back to Manchester, not too many Old Trafford-ites wants their former trainee back, with four names more popular…
England’s next great defensive hope may have seen his reputation take a bit of a battering of late, but that hasn’t effected his popularity among Man United fans. Granted, Stones has been exposed by an Everton side that gives little regard to defensive solidity, so perhaps in a Red Devils team that will likely be a bit pragmatic under Mourinho he could thrive…
Likened to Ronaldinho, despite being a box-to-box midfielder, Benfica’s Sanches is a Man United target that Mourinho has given his ‘blessing’ to in terms of pursuing a deal. Despite being just 18, the skilful and energetic Portuguese teenager is already a full international and is being talked about as the next big thing to come out of the Primeira Liga – a division that has nurtured some top, top talent in recent years.
Although Man United remain in the hunt for a top four finish and could lift the FA Cup for the first time in what feels like forever (they last one it in 2004), LVG’s team have been hard to watch. Goals have been sparse and excitement in short supply, but a proposed move for Atletico Madrid’s Griezmann could address the issues and seems to be popular among the fanbase. The France international has moved infield to become a central striker since joining Atleti in 2014, netting 42 goals in La Liga in just shy of two seasons – a tally that would be raved about if not for the efforts of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
And top of the list is a player Mourinho himself has described as “best young central defender in the world”. Varane has long been hailed as one of the finest ball-playing centre-backs on the planet despite being just 22-years-old, so it’s clear to see why Man United fans have reacted in such a positive way to reports he’s keen to challenge himself at Old Trafford.
Varane boasts pace, is a neat passer of the ball, is strong and reads the game well, and in an era where central defenders of quality are few and far between, he could be a masterstroke of a signing.
6 – James Rodriguez: The Colombian playmaker is a scorer of spectacular goals, but doesn’t seem too popular.
7 – Romelu Lukaku: Bangs in the goals, but there are lingering doubts about his over all quality.
8 – Zlatan Ibrahimovic: A superhuman footballer, but at 34 he’d be a short-term fix.
9 – Gonzalo Higuain: Scores goals, but that’s not always enough.
10 – Edinson Cavani: Have all the Cavani rumours alienated fans? Perhaps!