United No Longer In The Market For A Left-Back
Manchester United have pulled out of moves for left-backs Danny Rose of Tottenham Hotspur and Alex Sandro of Juventus.
United have been linked with both players over a period of months. The link with Rose goes as far back as last summer when he hinted that his next move would be to a club in the north of England. But the signing last week of teenage left-back Diogo Dalot from FC Porto appears to be an indication of Mourinho’s thinking over that particular spot.
Mourinho now has three players battling it out for the left-back position. Ashley Young slotted in last season but the England international turns 33 next month though he may still be first-choice next season. But Young now has two relatively youthful understudies in the shape of the 22-year-old Luke Shaw and the 19-year-old Dalot.
Portugal under-21 international Dalot is regarded as the best betfor the longer term despite only playing a handful of games for Porto last season.
With three left-backs in place and no prospect of selling Shaw, United have now ended their search.
Rose and Sandro are both currently in Russia with the England and Brazil squads respectively. Both look set to stay with their respective clubs.
Rose had an injury-hit campaign. He returned at the end of October from a nine-month lay-off with a cruciate knee ligament injury only for it to flare up again at the turn of the year ruling him out for a further month. He also lost a total of six weeks at the end of the season with calf strains.
As a result, Rose played in only 10 Premier League games all season. That wasn’t enough for Mourinho to justify meeting Tottenham’s £50million price tag.
It was a similar story with Sandro whose form for Juventus dipped after he saw Chelsea’s £52million bid rejected by the Serie A side last summer. The 27-year-old is expected to open talks over a new deal with Juve once the World Cup is over.
Verratti ‘Offered’ To United
Meanwhile, agent Mino Raiola has offered Manchester United the chance to sign another one of his clients, the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti.
Raiola is well known to United with the Red Devils having signed his clients Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in recent years.
New PSG coach Thomas Tuchel asked to see the weight of each of his players when he took over as coach earlier this month. He then had a conversation with Verratti in which he ordered the Italy international to lose weight. That hasn’t gone down well with the midfielder or his agent and Raiola has offered him to some of Europe’s top clubs.
Barcelona have turned down Verratti. Juventus, Manchester United and Real Madrid are mulling over possible bids.
However, PSG have won a reputation of only selling players when it suits them and not the player. If Verratti is part of Tuchel’s plans – and it seems that he will be once he has shed a few pounds – then the chances of PSG sanctioning an exit are close to zero.
The chances are slim of the 25-year-old moving to Old Trafford – or anywhere else for that matter.