Manchester United are in talks to sign Joao Moutinho in what would be their second deal with AS Monaco after completing a sensational loan deal for Radamel Falcao.
According to the Daily Express, the departures of Falcao and James Rodriguez to Real Madrid this summer have left Moutinho feeling disillusioned with things at the principality club.
So much so that the Old Trafford club have been alerted by his agent Jorge Mendes. Mendes is also the agent of United’s record signing Angel Di Maria and Falcao, and Metro are reporting that the Premier League club have begun talks with Monaco over a deal that could cost in the region of £15million.
The rationale for the reported interest in the Portugal international is that Louis van Gaal’s first choice for a central midfield signing, Arturo Vidal, has been abandoned owing to questions over his fitness, namely a knee injury.
Manchester United’s new boss will be in need of midfielders if the sale of Tom Cleverley goes through and the club can find a buyer for Anderson – both deals that fans would likely be thankful for.
Moutinho moved to Monaco from Porto along with James Rodriguez last summer in a combined deal worth in the region of €70million, with €25million of that estimated to be for the Portugal international.
Despite his large price tag and obvious quality, the 27-year-old has struggled to repeat the kind of form he was showing at Porto with the Ligue 1 side. Bankrolled by a Russian billionaire, Dmitry Rybolovlev, Monaco failed to win Le Championnat and had to settle for second place behind PSG.
Now they are in the Champions League the substantial sums of money they were throwing around to sign high profile players, despite only being promoted from Ligue 2 last season, will come under greater scrutiny due to UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules.
Poor start to salvage
Meanwhile, Manchester United are desperate to turn around what has been an abysmal start to new season, with Van Gaal failing to register a win in his first four competitive matches, including a defeat to Swansea City at Old Trafford in their opening Premier League fixture and a humiliating 4-0 loss to League One MK Dons in the League Cup.
If midfielders do leave then bringing one in would make sense, but Moutinho is a similar player to another summer signing, £29million Ander Herrera, and fitting the two of them into the same side could be a struggle.