Jose Mourinho wasn’t afraid to spend big when he arrived at Old Trafford last year, and it was obvious that the squad he inherited from former boss Louis van Gaal simply wasn’t good enough to contend for the Premier League title.
Despite winning the F.A. Cup prior to his arrival, Mourinho brought in Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Eric Bailly, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba for a world record fee to show he meant business and were gunning for top honours once the season kicked off.
They finished sixth in the league – but managed to secure a place in Europe’s elite competition after defeating Ajax in the final of the Europa League while capturing the EFL Cup too.
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As expected, the Portuguese boss is expected to inject a further dose of genuine, top-class quality into the side this summer and he’s started the spending already, following the £30.6 million arrival of Swedish centre-half Victor Lindelof from Benfica.
However, according to a report from Manchester Evening News, Mourinho is hoping to secure a core of seven players - which he can call his own - to feature in the United starting XI.
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With one Swede arriving in Lindelof and one departing in Ibrahimovic, Mourinho has his eye on three other targets to join Bailly, Mkhitaryan and Pogba to take the total to four signings this summer, and seven in two years.
The likes of Van Gaal and David Moyes did make some big money signings, but they also left behind an unbalanced and perhaps ageing squad in the form of Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney, and now Mourinho is keen to move forward with a side he’s had plenty of input in and now it’s up to Ed Woodward to ensure he brings in the remainder of the top targets.
Following Lindelof’s arrival, it’s expected that United’s immediate focus will turn to Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata as they believe he’s the perfect replacement for Ibrahimovic – although, the fee is proving to be an issue with the Champions League winners holding out for £78 million.
Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic is another name that’s been linked with a move to the red side of Manchester for some months, and new boss Luciano Spalletti isn’t going to stand in the way of the Croatian making an exit.
Again, the fee could prove to be a stumbling block with the Milan side valuing him much higher than what the Red Devils want to pay.
Despite being linked with AS Monaco’s Fabinho, the source is claiming that Mourinho will look to make an addition to the holding midfield position in the form of Nemanja Matic or Eric Dier to take that total up to seven in two years.
Phase one provided inconsistent results despite some big spending, but phase two could prove to be crucial in making Manchester United title contenders.
What do you make of Jose Mourinho’s desire to feature seven of his own players in Manchester United’s starting XI? Have YOUR say in the comments section below.
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