Jose Mourinho has finally been confirmed as Manchester United manager following months of speculation, and so begins the seemingly endless lists of targets that will join ”The Special One” at Old Trafford.
The Portuguese manager seems certain to target a striker that can play on his own up front and Mauro Icardi is a player he likes and would fit the bill.
The Inter Milan striker was one that Jose wanted to bring to Stamford Bridge previously but somehow ended up with Falcao.
Perhaps Falcao sharing the same agent as Mourinho helped grease the wheels on that move.
Argentinian striker Icardi joined the San Siro club from Sampdoria in the summer of 2013, having previously spent time at Barcelona during his youth career.
Since joining Inter, Icardi has made 88 first team appearances scoring 47 times.
To date, the 23 year old has only managed one international cap for Argentina, but that’s hardly a massive negative when the quality of competition for places up front for the 2 time World Cup winners is considered.
Icardi is a really strong finisher and holds the ball up well, something Mourinho has often sought from his strikers.
Behind the striker, James Rodriguez is someone Manchester United have long sought to bring to the club.
The Colombian seems to be out of favour at Real Madrid and is another that shares the services of ”Super Agent” Jorge Mendes.
When asked after Real Madrid won their 11th European Cup title about how tough this season has been for him, here’s what he said:
“It’s been weird, but whenever something bad happens you have to learn everyday, you know nothing in football, I want to stay here, where I always wanted to be, I want to stay here for years to come and think about whatever good will come soon, I’m happy here and my family is happy as well.”
Central defence is the last piece of the spine that Mourinho may want to improve and another raid on former club Real Madrid for French international Raphael Varane may fit the bill.
Chelsea are growing increasingly in confidence that they can strike a deal to bring former striker Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge.
Bringing the big Belgian back to South West London would surely be an admission by the club of an expensive mistake having sold him to Everton in 2014 for £28 million.
The Toffees are believed to be demanding a fee in the region of £65 million for the striker.
Since appointing agent Mino Raiola, it has appeared inevitable that Lukaku will seek a move away from Merseyside.
The Italian declared last year:
”If we had met each other earlier, he wouldn’t have played for Everton, maybe somewhere else, maybe he would still be at Chelsea. I want to be clear: Romelu is a better striker than Diego Costa and could have done the same as the Spaniard did this season. But the Chelsea directors had decided to buy another star than giving confidence to one of their young boys.”
West Ham are in advance talks with Besiktas about signing winger Gokhan Tore according to Sky Sports although difference of opinion in valuation appear to be a stumbling block.
Slaven Bilic worked with Tore during his time in Turkey as Besiktas manager and appears keen for a reunion with the Turkish international.
West Ham are keen to strengthen their squad and build on an impressive first season under the Croatian when they move to the Olympic stadium.
West Ham interested in Gokhan Tore who plays for Besiktas pic.twitter.com/QYgyGrQWI0
— Monkey Sponge Sports (@monkey_sponge) January 10, 2016
The future of Bayern Munich attacking midfielder Mario Götze appears to be rumbling on and seems destined to be one of the transfer sagas of the summer.
The Bundesliga champions have made it clear that the World Cup winner’s future lies away from the Allianz but despite rumours that the player had agreed a deal to join Liverpool, it now seems certain that any decision on his future will be parked until after Euro 2016.
This comes after reports that Götze had sacked his agent.
The agency itself issued a statement:
“After extensive deliberations and discussions in the past few weeks, we have come together to decide that we will terminate the cooperation. Therefore we met for a joint discussion and parted by mutual consent. I thank him for his many years of trust and wish him well for the future.”
Bayer Leverkusen‘s Karim Bellarabi may be seen as an alternative to Götze with reports that the player had rebuffed interest from Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur.
Staying with Liverpool, there are reports in Italy that the Anfield club’s move for Piotr Zielinski may not be dead after all.
The Polish international has been on loan at Empoli from Udinese for the past season and has been attracting the interest of Napoli and Roma.
Udinese are owned by the same family that own Premier League club Watford who are presently in discussions with Liverpool about Jerome Sinclair.
The striker is out of contract with the Merseysiders but because of his age Liverpool would be entitled to compensation if he moves to another English club.
If a deal can be reached before going to tribunal it may help move along Zielinski’s potential move to Anfield.
Leicester City want to bring Steven N’Zonzi back to the Premier League and have failed with an £18 million bid for the midfielder according to Steve Brenner.
The former Stoke City player left The Britannia last summer for Sevilla but there are reports the Frenchman would like a return to England.
The Europa league winners are insisting that the player will only leave if a club meets his release clause of £21 million.
Mourinho Image: Aleksandr Osipov