Mourinho’s Man Utd link boosts mega-transfer hopes

Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – The prospect of Jose Mourinho becoming Manchester United’s next boss has unleashed hopes across Europe of a mega-spending spree by the English giants to get back into the elite.

While talks with Mourinho’s representatives dragged on Thursday, media reports have spoken of the Portuguese coach getting between 200 and 300 million pounds ($295-$440 million/263-395 million euros) to spend before the new season starts.

While the club have not commented on the reports, Manchester United are desperate to get back into England’s top four and the Champions League after three miserable seasons under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal.

If media in England, Italy and France are to be believed, Mourinho could replace nearly half the United team.

British tabloid, The Sun said on Thursday that Mourinho wants Brazilian star Willian from his former club Chelsea. The report said United would have to pay £60 million for Chelsea’s 27-year-old player of the year.

Other reports have linked Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has left Paris Saint-Germain, to a United move.

The Guardian daily said the 34-year-old prolific goalscorer wants a 15 million euro a year salary. 

Several newspapers have also linked United to a deal for Napoli’s Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain, Serie A’s top scorer last season.

Sky Sports Italia said that Mourinho wants Roma’s 24-year-old defender Kostas Manolas. That would cost another 39.5 million euros.

And the list goes on.

The Daily Mail has said United are one of a host of clubs looking to see if Leicester City’s French international midfielder N’Golo Kante would leave the Premier League champions.

The Mail has also said Mourinho would like to sign another of his Chelsea favourites, Nemanja Matic to bolster the United midfield.

Other reports have said Mourinho is trailing Everton defender John Stones, West Ham teenager Reece Oxford and Barcelona’s defensive midfielder Javier Mascherano.

French daily L’Equipe said United are battling with PSG and Chelsea to tempt Antoine Griezmann away from Atletico Madrid.

The Daily Telegraph said Mourinho would get £200 million to spend but he “is likely to suffer disappointment over two of his top targets”.

It said Manchester City and Barcelona are ahead of United in the chase for England defender Stones. The Telegraph added that “Chelsea are determined not to sell Matic to Mourinho”.

“The figures are huge and some do not seem realistic,” said one agent who deals with Premier League clubs.

“United may struggle to tempt some players as they will not be in the Champions League.

“But Mourinho is a big draw and Manchester are still a big name, no matter which competition they are in. They are still bound to be big spenders in the coming weeks.”

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