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Manchester United transfer rumour: Jose Mourinho plots a £50m bid for Atletico Madrid star Jose Maria Gimenez

But they are not alone in the race for his signature.

Rumors 02 Nov 2016, 19:02 IST
Jose Maria Gimenez
Jose Maria Gimenez: The next star to arrive at Old Trafford

Manchester United have been relatively shaky at the heart of their defence this season and it seems manager Jose Mourinho is already planning to make amends. Manchester United boss has identified a key target in Jose Maria Gimenez and hopes to get the board’s backing in plotting a £50m bid for the Atletico Madrid defender. 

Jose Maria Gimenez has emerged as a hot target not only for Manchester United but also for several other clubs except Arsenal who gave up on his pursuit by signing Shkodran Mustafi instead. So who and why is this lesser known player projected to soon become the whirlwind of the upcoming transfer window? That is because he is the whirlwind himself. 

Jose Maria Gimenez made his international debut for Uruguay at a tender age of 18 and his talent was almost instantly spotted when he managed to engage Radamel Falcao for the entire game single-handedly. That game ensured that Uruguay qualified for the 2014 World Cup and Gimenez would eventually become an important part of it. Gimenez later developed along with mentor Diego Godin at Atletico Madrid.

He is a youngster with experience and the pace, aggression and ability in the air add to the no-nonsense attitude to defending which is the reason why he is so highly regarded by Mourinho. 

Read more: Manchester United transfer rumour: Manchester United to spend a whopping £135m to sign Luis Suarez

"You don't have to tell him a lot," Godin said of his protégé. "For his age, he has a lot of experience with Uruguay and Atletico Madrid in big games. The truth is he has always demonstrated a lot of personality and composure." 

However, Gimenez’s status at Atletico Madrid seems to have dropped from being a key player to possibly out of favour with the manager. The reason can be traced back to a match between Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid in May when he was exposed to his only possible weakness – his temperament. Gimenez lost his cool and conceded a cheap penalty in a tense Champions League semifinal.

Although Jan Oblak saved the penalty and Atletico progressed to the finals, manager Diego Simeone was furious at the player for his reckless mentality. And the manager seems to have still not forgiven Gimenez for his lapse in defence as he has preferred Stefan Savic in his role ever since the final against Real Madrid in Milan.

So far, Gimenez has made only two appearances all season. Furthermore, Gimenez has only a little over 18 months to run on his contract which could be seen as an impetus to other clubs’ efforts to sign him. Atletico Madrid renewed his contract in January by increasing the player’s salary and the buyout clause to £56 million but did not extend the length of his contract keeping him only until 2018.

Thus with time, the price tag of one of the most valuable defenders is set to depreciate while the interest from clubs can only grow stronger. Since it is hard to imagine such a talented player to be allowed to leave on a free transfer, there certainly seems to be an element of veracity in the rumour of Gimenez’s transfer.

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