Manchester United will prioritise the Europa League over their top four battle as they look to return to the Champions League.
The Red Devils are currently locked in a battle with Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal to finish in one of the coveted top four positions.
But that’s not the only route United can take to qualify for Europe’s elite club competition. Jose Mourinho’s side are through to the semi-finals of the Europa League and victory in the competition will guarantee the Manchester club a place alongside Real Madrid, Chelsea and co. in the draw.
“I know it’s the only competition Manchester United as a club have never won it. It would be great to close the circle, and say we are a club that has won every single competition in the football world,” Mourinho said ahead of tonight’s first leg tie against Celta Vigo, per the Independent.
"Thinking about us as a team, I think it would be good given all the problems we have [this season] and would allow us back into the Champions League season. We have to try.
“The Europa League has become for us more important and of course it depends on the result, and the way we analyse the situation after the match, but if we have to rest players next weekend, we are going to do that.”
United's attempt to return to the top
Victory in the Europa League - should United progress to the final, they will face either Ajax or Lyon - will do wonders for the club as they attempt to return to the heights of Sir Alex Ferguson’s era.
Mourinho managed to convince Paul Pogba to swap Champions League football for United last summer, highlighting the Red Devils’ appeal.
And the offer of Champions League football will help in their bid to sign Antoine Griezmann and a number of other targets in the summer.
United want Mbappe
Among those on Mourinho’s wish list is Monaco’s rising sensation Kylian Mbappe, who has enjoyed a breakout season in France.
According to The Guardian, United have had a £72 million bid for the 18-year-old rejected by Monaco. It’s not hard to see why Mourinho was willing to break the bank for the striker, who has scored 24 goals in all competitions this season and was hailed as “incredible” by Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon this week.
What Monaco have told United
The Guardian’s report adds that Monaco have informed United they will not sell Mbappe for less than £100m and it is unlikely he will leave the Stade Louis II this summer.
Monaco believe they will be able to fetch around £125m in 2018 if Mbappe continues to shine next season.
Unfortunately for Mourinho, the teenager’s preferred destination is Real Madrid.
Which club will Mbappe sign for? Let us know in the comments section below!
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