Manchester United News: Red Devils could finally sign Mourinho target in the summer
What's the Story?
The Guardian has reported that Manchester United have stepped up their pursuit of Tottenham Hotspurs defender Toby Alderweireld and could get their man in the summer.
In case you didn't know...
Jose Mourinho had identified the defender as the man to solve his defensive crisis in the summer of 2018. United were front runners for the transfer all through the summer and reports even emerged that the Red Devils would get their business done on Transfer Deadline Day. However, a move never materialized and the Belgian stayed at Tottenham beyond the transfer window.
Mourinho had to be content with the defenders at his disposal, a move that did not please him at all. United also looked like they had made a mistake after the Old Trafford outfit conceded 29 goals in the first 17 games in the Premier League. It saw them slip down to 6th and also cost their Portuguese manager his job.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was drafted in as the caretaker manager, and the Norwegian was expected to make defensive reinforcements in January. However, Solskjaer managed to inspire his defenders to prove their worth, enabling United to risk a quiet January. The move paid dividends, as United have conceded just 11 goals in the last 13 games since the arrival of their Norwegian manager.
The heart of the matter
Even though they are linked to a host of defensive target, Manchester United could finally get their hands on their long term target, Toby Alderweireld, in the summer. Alderweireld is rumoured to be still keen to make the move, and he is a player that would suit Solskjaer very well. The Belgian is very strong defensively and his ball playing abilities are an upgrade to the current flock at United.
The cost of the transfer would also appeal to the Red Devils, as Alderweireld would be available at an affordable price of £25m. This is because Tottenham were forced to trigger a release clause on the Belgian's contract in December 2018. It is also reported that United are willing to part ways with Eric Bailly to free up the funds to make the transfer happen.
United face Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday in the FA Cup Quarter Finals, while Tottenham do not play until the end of the month, when they face Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League