Manchester United gear up for huge summer spending spree worth in excess of £150mPublished January 11, 2017
Jose Mourinho will use the summer transfer window to majorly strengthen the core of his Manchester United team, with the Portuguese believed to be preparing big-money bids for several highly-rated stars during the close season.
With United currently sat in a disappointing sixth-place in the Premier League after a pre-season of much promise, Mourinho is keen to add a central defender, midfielder and playmaker to his ailing squad in a bid to catapult the Red Devils back to the top of the English game.
And the Daily Express claims that, with January viewed as a far from ideal moment to make wholesale changes in personnel, the ex-Chelsea boss will bide him time before mounting substantial offers for some of the game’s top talent over the summer.
Recently, the 53-year-old outlined his transfer vision on Portuguese television, seemingly confirming the paper’s report.
“I am convinced that in this winter market we will be sellers and not buyers,” he told Sport TV. “We want to raise pounds to attack in the summer, as we did this year with the contract of four players.”
Top priority for Mourinho will be finding a world-class striker to reinvigorate an Old Trafford front-line containing veterans Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney. As the pair start to ease down towards the end of their careers, the opportunity is there for a lively young forward to become the new first-choice in the Portuguese’s starting eleven.
Mourinho is understood to be particularly interested in £80m-rated Antoine Griezmann of Atletico Madrid, but despite speculation gathering pace over a move for the Frenchman, such a deal remains much more likely to happen during the close season.
Another area of concern for the outspoken tactician is central midfield, where Morgan Schneiderlin’s imminent switch to Everton leaves the club short of a body in the squad. With Michael Carrick’s future up in the air, the Portuguese will use the summer to sound out a long-term replacement for the former England international.
Griezmann’s Atletico teammate Saul Niguez, a current Spanish international, is one of the names being mentioned to fill the problem position, with the energetic box-to-box player said to have a release clause in excess of £65m as part of his contract at the Estadio Vicente Calderon.
The Red Devils’ spending may not end there, though, as Mourinho also seeks a new centre-back to complement Eric Bailly at the heart of a new-look defence. The Express writes that a bid for Benfica’s Victor Lindelof has hit the buffers over Benfica’s £38m asking price, and although the Swede will remain on United’s radar, Southampton’s Virgil Van Dijk could also be the subject of interest at the end of the campaign (per Mirror Football).
Given the respective transfer valuations of the players mentioned, such a spending spree could easily see the Old Trafford outfit surpass last summer’s total of £150m.
United head into Sunday’s grudge match with title chasers Liverpool five points behind their north-west rivals, and 10 off current frontrunners Chelsea.