Mourinho signed Mikel when he was Blues manager the first time around as well as working together with him when he was in charge at Stamford Bridge for a second spell in 2013.
However the 29-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and there are no plans to offer him a new one, with new boss Antonio Conte yet to play him in his new-look Chelsea side.
And, according to The Sun, Mourinho will make a cut-price move for the Nigerian during the January transfer window, rather than wait until the summer and sign him on a free.
It would not be the first time United have signed Mikel – sort of. Sir Alex Ferguson thought he had brought Mikel to Old Trafford when he was 19, with the Red Devils announcing the £4m signing on their website and the Nigeria captain was even pictured in a United shirt.
It transpired United had done the transfer directly with the player and his club, bypassing his agents, but Chelsea angrily claimed they had a deal agreed with his agent.
Mikel reportedly received threatening calls and needed to take refuge in a safe hotel with a security guard before claiming to Sky Sports that he had been pressurised into signing for United and actually wanted to join Chelsea.
The matter was resolved when the Blues agree to pay Lyn Oslo £4m and United a further £12m.
Mourinho’s interest in Mikel again is part of his plan to free Pogba from his defensive responsibilities by giving extra cover to the back four.
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