Jose Mourinho has already labeled Julian Draxler as his first-choice alternative should Manchester United's bid for Borussia Dortmund's Henrikh Mkhitaryan fails, reports The Mirror.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has been negotiating a deal for the Armenian winger but he has so far been unable to convince Borussia Dortmund to cash in.
Dortmund have already sold Ilkay Gundogan and Mats Hummels this summer and are concerned that allowing Mkhitaryan to leave will send the wrong message to the rest of their star players, most notably Marco Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
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Mourinho is determined to land a new winger this summer and has put a contingency plan in place should talks with the Bundesliga runners-up break down. That contingency plan is a £38million bid for Draxler.
Currently on international duty with Germany, Draxler has slowly but surely begun to fulfill the potential he originally showed with Schalke. Now playing for Wolfsburg, the 22-year-old has done a fine job of replacing Kevin De Bruyne, who left for Manchester City last summer.
Manchester United face a similar problem signing Draxler with Wolfsburg already issuing a hands-off warning to interested clubs. They have him tied to a long-term contract and are under little financial pressure to sell.
Regardless, United's interest is reliant on a deal for Mkhitaryan breaking down and the playmaker is still likely to move to Old Trafford. His agent Mino Raiola recently confirmed that talks between all parties are moving forward, albeit slowly.
He said: “We are still talking to Dortmund. We are trying to be reasonable. They are aware that Micki wants to leave now.”
A deal with Zlatan Ibrahimovic is also expected to be completed soon with Woodward putting the final touches on a one-year deal. Ibrahimovic is also represented by Raiola.