Manchester United transfer news: Jose Mourinho monitors trio of defenders as Paul Pogba saga continues

The latest news, rumours and speculation surrounding the Old Trafford side

James Mariner
Sunday 31 July 2016 12:53
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Leonardo Bonucci has been linked with a move to the FA Cup holders, but could cost at least £60m (Getty)
Leonardo Bonucci has been linked with a move to the FA Cup holders, but could cost at least £60m (Getty)

Jose Mourinho is not just looking to reinforce his attacking prospects at Manchester United as they enter the final week of their pre-season.

With the Community Shield curtain-raiser against Leicester City taking place at Wembley next Sunday, the Portuguese is monitoring three defenders, as doubts persist over the capabilities of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling to convince, and stay fit, for a whole campaign.

Eric Bailly has already arrived from Villarreal for £30m to shore up the backline, which, although credited with the joint best record in the Premier League last season, has not entirely convinced and lacks star quality in front of David de Gea.

With £16m-rated Brazilian Fabinho again linked with the club by The Sunday Times, the paper also report Mourinho as being after a centre-back and right-back, with the likes of Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson told they can leave on loan.

Ezequiel Garay of Zenit St Petersburg, was linked with United under Louis van Gaal and continues to be monitored, while Southampton's Jose Fonte and Euro 2016 star Leonardo Bonucci, of Juventus, are also on Mourinho's radar. The latter could cost as much as £60m, while European champion Jose Fonte, who lifted the Henri Delaunay trophy with Portugal in July, would represent a cheaper option - and has Premier League experience.

To make room for the new arrivals Mourinho is prepared to let a number of defenders leave - both permanently and on loan. Matteo Darmian struggled to follow up on an impressive start to his first year in England and is attracting interest back in Italy from Roma, while Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo are also not in Jose's plans.

Southampton centre-back Jose Fonte has also interested new Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho 

Midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger, Juan Mata and Adnan Januzaj could also be on their way out of Old Trafford shortly with Mourinho keen to trim his squad.

Januzaj has made up his mind to leave the club, according to the Mail, while the Sunday People link the winger, along with Belgian colleague Marouane Fellaini, with a move to Sunderland and former manager David Moyes.

The Manchester Evening News also say Bastian Schweinsteiger has been encouraged to look elswehere for first-team action, although the Daily Star claim he could stay and try to win a place under Mourinho. Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge believes his compatriot, 31, will remain at the club. “I am 100 per cent convinced that Schweinsteiger will not return to Germany,” Rummenigge said of the player, who was left out of Saturday's friendly win over Galatasaray in Sweden..

Mark Ogden: Man Utd confident of Pogba deal

“I can see him staying at Manchester United and try to achieve their goals under a new coach. Maybe he could surprise Mourinho.”

Paul Pogba is due back from his post-Euro 2016 holiday early in the week when he is expected to finally complete the formatlities on his world record £112m move back to Old Trafford. Fellow French midfielder Dimitri Payet has also been linked with the club by France Football over the weekend.

The Sun on Sunday also claim that United are keeping tabs on Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale, although a move appears unlikely at best.

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