According to reports in The Sun, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is hoping to complete one more signing before the Russia World Cup gets underway on Thursday with a £50m move for Tottenham Hotspur centre-back Toby Alderweireld, and their Premier League rivals Southampton should be watching developments closely.
Well, The Sun report that Mourinho is desperate to land the Belgium international and is already in talks with Spurs to get a deal over the line, with United willing to pay £50m for the 29-year-old as long as it is structured in a way that suits them.
The Sun says that Mourinho sees his defence as a problem position despite currently having Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo to choose from there, and signing the north London club’s contract rebel would go some way to strengthening the backline.
Alderweireld would likely be the Portuguese boss’ first-choice centre-back given the fact that he has previously established himself as one of the best in his position in the Premier League, but his arrival at Old Trafford would surely bring into doubt the futures of the likes of England duo Smalling and Jones.
Well, having conceded 57 goals in their 38 top flight fixtures last term and only narrowly avoided relegation to the Championship, Saints manager Mark Hughes, who has been urged to keep a £80,000-a-week star at St Mary’s by the fans, may well want to bring in an experienced centre-back this summer to work with the likes of Wesley Hoedt, Jack Stephens and Jan Bednarek.
The south coast outfit are still yet to replace Jose Fonte or Virgil van Dijk – who were both big characters and leaders in the backline – and perhaps Red Devils defender and 6ft 4in tall Three Lions colossus Smalling could be the answer.
The 28-year-old made 46 appearances in all competitions under Mourinho during the 2017/18 campaign, but the arrival of Alderweireld could be enough to push him through the exit door – especially if he wants to be playing regularly – and to a club like Southampton.
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