United To Miss Out On Mourinho?
Manchester United target Jose Mourinho is considering the chance of moving back to Inter Milan, according to reports today. Much is being made of an invitation extended to Mourinho to attend Inter’s home game with Sampdoria on Saturday.
The former Chelsea boss moved to the San Siro when he was sacked for the first time by Chelsea in 2007. He won the Serie A title with Inter in 2009 and followed that with the treble of Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League in 2010 before leaving for Real Madrid that summer.
“I think Mourinho will be at the San Siro on Saturday evening,” former president Massimo Moratti told the Ansa news agency.
“A gift to the fans? It is because of him that people like to come to Milan. He is part of the club’s history and his presence further strengthens the club.”
The Sun claims that Mourinho’s presence could be part of a charm offensive aimed at enticing the Portugese coach back to Inter. The club have slipped down to fifth place in Serie A under Roberto Mancini having suffered a slump that has seen them win only one in their last seven league games. The former City boss is under a similar kind of pressure to Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford. Inter are four points off the third and final Champions League place and they could be looking to Mourinho to turn round their fortunes.
However, Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport offers a different perspective. It claims Mourinho will be at the San Siro on Saturday, but rather than looking to take over from Mancini he will use it as an opportunity to scout Inter striker Mauro Icardi. The 22-year-old was a Manchester United transfer target last month and remains on their target list for the summer – when Mourinho could be in charge at Old Trafford.
United are only expected to sack van Gaal once a Champions League place in mathematically impossible. That means when fourth place is out of sight in the Premier League and the club have been eliminated from the Europa League, the winners of which go straight into the Champions League group stages. The noose has tightened on the Dutchman following last night’s 2-1 Europa League defeat to FC Midtylland in Denmark. To make matters worse David De Gea became United’s 14th injury casualty when he limped out of the warm-up. He was replaced by Sergio Romero for the game.
United In Quandary Over Rooney Bid
Manchester United are keen to accept an offer from a Chinese Super League club – believed to be Shanghai Shenhua – for Wayne Rooney. However, they don’t have a player of a similar calibre to please the club’s marketing men and sponsors.
That’s according to Manchester Evening News journalist Sam Luckhurst who revealed on Thursday that United have received what he describes as “an incredible offer” for the England skipper.
“He’s not had a great season and it’s an offer United would like to accept,” Luckhurst told BBC Radio Five Live.
“However, the caveat is United don’t have a player in the first-team squad with the reputation or the profile of Wayne Rooney.
“Rooney remains still one of the most marketable footballers in the world. Look at the list of United’s global partners – both past and present – almost all of them have used his image to plug their brands and that has an impact on United’s business acumen as well in that they need someone to fill that void.
“Now, United need a striker as well. But will Harry Kane or Romelu Lukaku cut the mustard as far as the sponsors are concerned – they won’t. There would be an opportunity if Rooney were sold to go for the marquee name that Ed Woodward is intent on signing.”
The offer to Rooney is believed to be somewhere in the region of £500,000 a week. United would aim to replace the 30-year-old with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Neymar. However, failure to qualify for the Champions League will hamper United chances of signing any of those players or indeed a player of that calibre.
Mata In Griezmann Swap Link
Manchester United are being linked with a player-exchange involving Juan Mata and Atletico Madrid winger Antoine Griezmann. Spanish website Fichajes speculates that Mata will be offered to Atletico as part of a deal for their French winger.
Mata is expected to be sold by United if Jose Mourinho becomes manager having been sold by the Portugese coach in January 2014 when the pair were at Chelsea.
Griezmann is value at around £60million by the La Liga club.