It’s all going on at Manchester United.
The club may have won the FA Cup just three days ago but that has almost been forgotten it the latest goings-on. In case you’ve missed it, Louis van Gaal has been sacked and Jose Mourinho is on the brink of being appointed.
The Portuguese has been linked with the Old Trafford hotseat ever since he was dismissed from Chelsea in December and it’s unknown when he knew for certain he was to be offered the role.
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But there’s no doubt that Mourinho has been planning on becoming United boss for a while now. Amongst that planning, the Special One has no doubt been writing up his transfer shortlist.
While Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been heavily linked with a reunion with his former boss, it’s another former player that is Mourinho’s ‘priority target.'
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That’s because the Independent are reporting that Mourinho has identified Karim Benzema as the one player he desperately wants to sign after his appointment at the Theatre of Dreams.
Mourinho clearly thinks that a new striker is exactly what the club needs but he doesn’t feel Ibrahimovic, who is likely to be handed a player/coaching role, is a long-term solution. Therefore, he is keen to bring Real Madrid’s Benzema to Old Trafford.
The pair worked together at the Bernabeu where Mourinho led the club to one La Liga title during his three seasons. In those three campaigns, Mourinho appeared to get the best from Benzema with the Frenchman scoring 78 goals in that spell.
After Mourinho left the Spanish club in 2013, Benzema revealed how he had made him a better player.
“Mourinho criticised me,” Benzema said.
“But it was his way of making me react. At the start, it hurt me, but I am used to it now.”
The goal scorer could already be playing for United but he turned down the opportunity, opting to join Madrid in the summer of 2009 after leaving Lyon. He’s gone on to score 161 goals in 316 appearances in all competitions for Los Blancos but may be tempted for a new challenge and a move to England.
While the lure of playing under Mourinho may be enticing, the lack of Champions League football may be an issue. Van Gaal could only lead his side to a fifth-placed finish meaning the club will have to make do with the Europa League next season.
Benzema, meanwhile, will be hoping to lead his side to their 11th Champions League triumph when they face Atletico Madrid in Milan on Saturday.
There’s very little doubt that Mourinho will splash the cash when he eventually arrives but whether he can convince the likes of Benzema to join the club remains to be seen.
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