Manchester United Transfer News: Jose Mourinho desperately wanted to sign Breel Embolo
Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel has revealed that Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was desperate to sign Breel Embolo this summer.
The 19-year-old was a star player for Basel since making his way into the first team in 2014. His form saw him attract interest from top clubs across Europe, including Manchester United and their arch rivals Arsenal.
The forward was also a part of Switzerland squad in the Euro 2016. Following their exit from the tournament, Embolo confirmed that he will leave Basel and join Schalke. He is tipped to be a massive success in the future and once the Bundesliga club were made aware that they were several clubs interested in signing the Swiss international, Heidel admitted his side were forced to complete the deal quickly.
"There are a number of reasons why we signed Embolo," Heidel explained, as quoted by Sky Sports.
"First and foremost, there are sporting reasons. It's nothing new that he is a great player. There is a reason why Mourinho desperately wanted to sign him for Manchester United.
"But we also see him as a player the Schalke fans can identify with, a bit like Benedikt Howedes, Leroy Sane and someone like Ralf Fahrmann.
"Embolo had a similar role at Basel, where 80 per cent of the shirts they sold had his name on it. He is very open, is always smiling and makes it easy for people to like him.
"When we realised there was a possibility that we could miss out on signing him due to other clubs' interest, we had to move fast.
"President Clemens Tonnies happily made his plane available. We flew out to Montpellier at 1300 CET and returned five hours later. We had wrapped up the deal in that short period."
Following the completion of a deal for Embolo, Schalke took on their official Twitter account and took a dig at United and Arsenal after the Premier League club lost a chance of landing the talented teenager.
Embolo is not the first player United missed out on this summer transfer window. The Red Devils were beaten by Bayern Munich in the signing of Renato Sanches. The Portuguese international, who was part of their Euro 2016 winning squad snubbed Mourinho's United in favour of the German champions.