Last September, Premier League clubs made the sensible decision to vote in favour of the summer transfer window closing before the start of the season, rather than on August 31.
This subsequently meant that the current transfer window would open earlier than usual, too.
Following the conclusion of the 2017-18 Premier League campaign earlier this month, the window has opened and clubs are now busy bringing players in while shipping others out.
As happens every summer, Manchester United have been linked with a whole host of different names in recent weeks.
It’s been reported over the past few days that the Red Devils are close to striking deals for Shakhtar Donetsk’s Brazilian midfielder Fred and his compatriot Alex Sandro at Juventus, as well as Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld.
Jose Mourinho is expected to get rid of several fringe players over the coming weeks including Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind, so reinforcements are essential at Old Trafford ahead of the start of the 2018-19 season.
The Portuguese coach knows he can ill-afford to mess up his transfer activity this summer. United officials expect the team to win the Premier League title next season, despite the fact rivals City set a new points record in the league this term. Another trophy-less season and Mourinho could find himself out of a job.
Mourinho considering shock signing this summer
Amid all of the speculation, Sunday Times journalist Duncan Castles has revealed that Mourinho has now set his sights on a very unexpected signing. If this happens, it would undoubtedly be one of the biggest shocks of the window.
Writing in Arab News, Castles explains that Mourinho is considering a move for West Ham forward Marko Arnautovic.
The 29-year-old is understood to have impressed the United boss during a campaign in which he has often been deployed as a solo striker.
Arnautovic, who scored 11 goals and registered seven assists in the league for West Ham this season, is a forward who possesses an array of technical qualities. Indeed, he has even drawn favourable comparisons to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, thanks in part to his imposing 6ft 4in frame.
How Mourinho described Arnautovic in 2010
However, consistency has always been an issue for the former Stoke City forward, hence why he has never played for one of Europe’s top clubs, barring a brief loan spell with Inter Milan during the 2009-10 campaign.
Back then, Mourinho, who was coach of Inter at the time, described Arnautovic as "a fantastic person with the attitude of a child”.
But eight years later and it seems Mourinho is ready to give Arnautovic another opportunity to shine at one of the world’s biggest football clubs.
If Marouane Fellaini leaves Old Trafford this summer, the Austria international would fill the void left by the Belgian in terms of a player with the aerial ability to bolster United’s attacking and defensive options.
Castles also points out that Romelu Lukaku is currently the only centre-forward at United comfortable playing with his back-to-goal.
This is one of Arnautovic’s great strengths, so it seems there is some method to Mourinho’s madness.
Would Marko Arnautovic be a decent signing for United - or has Jose Mourinho gone mad? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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