Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has reportedly demanded the club to sign Serie A defensive duo of Milan Skriniar and Alessio Romagnoli.
As per a report from ESPN, Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has asked the club to back him in the January transfer window by signing Milan Skriniar and Alessio Romagnoli from Inter Milan and AC Milan respectively.
Mourinho has come under intense scrutiny following United’s disappointing start to the 2018-19 campaign. The Red Devils already find themselves seven points off of rivals Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool, who occupy the top three spots in the Premier League standings.
There had been speculations of the Portuguese getting the sack this past weekend, but the United board have reportedly decided to back the 55-year-old to turn things around. However, Mourinho is seeking public assurances from the hierarchy by making transfer funds available in the winter window to sign defensive reinforcements.
Manchester United’s defence has been found wanting big time so far in the ongoing campaign. The Red Devils, in their 8 league matches, have shipped in 14 goals in total – the most by any team in the top 15 of the Premier League table. Only Cardiff City (17), Huddersfield Town (17) and Fulham (21) have conceded more goals in the top-flight.
Mourinho was keen on bringing in a new centre-back all summer, but United failed to acquire the manager’s primary targets. The Portuguese believes that is the primary reason for the club’s struggles in the new campaign and wants to address it by luring both Romagnoli and Skriniar to Old Trafford in January.
Romagnoli, a target for Mourinho’s former club Chelsea as well, has grown into a prominent figure at AC Milan since arriving in 2015, so much so that he was named the club captain for the ongoing campaign. The Italian international, who has made eight appearances this term, still has four years left on his contract with the Rossoneri, having signed a new deal with the club very recently.
Skriniar, who has been on United’s radar in the past, has established himself as a mainstay in the backline for Inter Milan since joining the club over a year back. He played an important role in their return to the UEFA Champions League and has made eight appearances so far this term. Like Romagnoli, the Slovakian defender also has four years on his current deal with the Nerazzurri.
A big factor in Manchester United not signing a centre-back in the summer was that the hierarchy deemed Mourinho’s chief targets – Toby Alderweireld (29), Jerome Boateng (30) and Diego Godin (32) – a bit too old for the club to be splashing huge transfer fees.
However, Mourinho is hoping that the board will be more open to funding big money moves for Romagnoli and Skriniar, both of whom are 23 years of age and are valued in the region of £40 million.
Comfortable playing out from the back, possessing physical strength and strong defensive nous, the Serie A pair fit into the profile of players that Manchester United need at the moment. However, it remains to be seen if the Mancunian outfit are willing to spend heavily on two centre-halves in the winter transfer window.