Manchester United still harbour hopes of securing a deal for Porto star Eliaquim Mangala, despite the fact that the general consensus is that he will be joining Manchester City in the summer.
According to Portuguese newspaper A Bola, citing reports from the weekend in the Mirror, United are already taking steps to ensure that they can hijack any proposed move for Mangala to the Etihad, and the French defender ranks amongst their most desired targets.
Possessive of a now infamous release clause said to be worth an eye-watering €50million, it’s clear that Mangala won’t be arriving to the Premier League on the cheap. However strong speculation backs the claim that United chiefs aren’t willing to let their long-reigning dominance over English football fail without a fight, and have put aside more than £100million in order to strengthen the squad for whoever it is that’s named as the next manager.
With the heart of their defence in desperate need of a revamp following the confirmed departure of Nemanja Vidic, it’s no wonder they’re aiming to steal Mangala. Whether or not they can tempt him to Old Trafford without European football on the agenda for next term is another thing entirely.
There's also then City's transfer plans to consider. Manuel Pellegrini was close to landing the 23-year-old in January before the deal combusted at the eleventh hour. As such they're sure to be recognised as favourites to complete their business at the next opportunity, and so United will most certainly have a fight on their hands.