Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has reportedly opened talks with West Ham star Dimitri Payet over a potential January move.

Jose Mourinho took over the reins at Manchester United at the start of this season and brought with him a sense of optimism among the Old Trafford faithful. After watching their side fail to make it into the top three, let alone win the league, for the last three seasons, United fans hoped that the Special One could bring about a change in fortunes.

At the start, it seemed like the former Chelsea boss had risen to the occasion when he made a number of marquee signings in the summer. After winning three games on the bounce in as many weeks, United found themselves sharing the spotlight with Manchester City and Chelsea atop the league table. However the international break halted their progress, and the Red Devils have since struggled to record back-to-back victories.

While being one of the league leaders in chance creation, it’s their finishing that has often let them down. Zlatan Ibrahimovic may have 8 league goals to his name, but given the opportunities he’s had, that tally should easily be in double figures. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has recently come into life for United, and his versatility will certainly help Mourinho.

Despite having a number of creative players in his ranks, the Portuguese manager has reportedly set his sights on another one in the January transfer window. West Ham’s Dimitri Payet has been one of the most-talked about players since last season, and has now emerged as a viable transfer target for England’s most successful club.

West Ham United's French midfielder Dimitri Payet applauds at the end of the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Middlesbrough at The London Stadium, in east London on October 1, 2016. / AFP / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

West Ham United’s French midfielder Dimitri Payet applauds at the end of the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Middlesbrough at The London Stadium, in east London on October 1, 2016. (Photo Courtesy: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images)

According to Le 10 Sport (h/t Daily Express), Mourinho has opened talks with the Frenchman and hopes to sign him in the month of January when the markets open once again. Payet has been in decent form this season, in contrast to his club, who find themselves languishing in 17th place.

The 27-year-old may not boast of the numbers he did at this time last season, but he is still an impeccably talented player. He has great balance, an eye for goal and extremely lethal with the ball at his feet. He is also blessed with blistering pace, and could be a decent signing for United.

With Memphis Depay virtually on his way out and Anthony Martial struggling this season, Payet may feature on the left wing for Manchester United. Like Mkhitaryan, the West Ham attacker can also operate from a more central position and see the wide men make runs beyond him.

That being said, given the number of clubs interested in him, Payet is unlikely to come on the cheap for the Red Devils. Mourinho has already invested huge funds in the summer luring in the likes of Paul Pogba, Eric Bailly and Mkhitaryan and may not be given the permission to go on a spending spree in January.

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