Jose Mourinho’s summer business has left Manchester United fans absolutely delighted.
Eric Bailly was the first to join and he was swiftly followed by Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba. All signings were made by August 9; it was just the stress-free transfer window Mourinho was hoping for.
That’s not to say that the United boss is sitting with his feet up, watching the other 19 Premier League managers scramble to make last-minute additions on deadline day, however.
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Although United sit at the top of the table with three wins from three, Mourinho still wants to improve one part of his team: defence.
United’s attack is stacked with talent, including Ibrahimovic, Marcus Rashford, Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial. The centre back position paints a different story, though. Behind Chris Smalling and Bailly, there isn’t a whole lot to be excited about.
Phil Jones hasn’t developed into the player United hoped and, though Daley Blind has made an impressive start to the season, he’s not in the same league as former greats Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.
One more defender
So Mourinho figures there’s little harm in trying to sign one more defender to provide more depth, and that defender is Southampton’s Jose Fonte.
The Portuguese has been tentatively linked with a move to Old Trafford for the entire month. ESPN claim United maintain an interest in the 32-year-old, however there is a caveat to the potential signing.
The Red Devils are eager to sell Marcos Rojo, who hasn’t played in the league this season, and will only make a move for Fonte if they can find a buyer for the Argentinian.
Rojo won't budge
That, however, is proving rather difficult. According to ESPN’s report, clubs from Spain, France and Portugal have all enquired about Rojo but none has offered a financial package that has satisfied the 26-year-old.
The former Sporting Lisbon man, signed by Louis van Gaal in 2014, is prepared to force his way into Mourinho’s plans.
It means that Fonte is likely to spend the season at Southampton, who are winless from three. Manager Claude Puel will be pleased that his captain hasn’t agitated for a move, having seen Victor Wanyama, Graziano Pelle and Sadio Mane leave in this summer.