Jose Mourinho in his first press conference as Manchester United manager (Picture: twitter.com)

Mourinho targets experienced central defender

Jose Mourinho is thought to be looking to continue his spending this summer, and is keen to add an experienced central defender to his ranks after the impending arrival of Paul Pogba to Old Trafford for a world record fee.

Mourinho has already signed a center-back this summer, bringing Ivorian defender Eric Bailly to the club for a fee in the region of£30m. However, the only other central defensive options at Mourinho’s disposal that have already made first team appearances at Old Trafford are Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Chris Smalling.

Eric Bailly has pleased fans with his contribution this summer (Picture: reddevilarmada.com)
Eric Bailly pleased the travelling fans with his contribution (Picture: reddevilarmada.com)

Phil Jones has struggled in his time at United due to a number of injury lay-offs, meanwhile it is believed among many that Dutch international Blind is not suited to the position in what is  a very tough and physical Premier League.

There have also been doubts on whether Marcos Rojo has the quality to partner Chris Smalling, who is likely to begin the season as Mourinho’s first choice centre-back after impressive performances in United’s previous campaign.

Marcos Rojo could be out of Old Trafford this summer (Picture: mendozapost.com)
Marcos Rojo could be loaned out this season (Picture: mendozapost.com)

Jose Fonte, Ezequiel Garay and Kostas Manolas have been touted as possible signings that could be possible for Mourinho, all three regarded as experienced defenders.

Fonte, 32, has just come of the back of Euro success with Portugal, and is a proven Premier League defender having lead Southampton to another top ten finish last season, which may be what Mourinho is looking for in his pursuit. However, ex Southampton manager and new Everton boss Ronald Koeman is keen to be reunited with the Portuguese and has reportedly bid £9m for the European Championship winner.

Argentinian Garay is another option for Mourinho, currently playing for Zenit St. Petersburg in Russia having had spells at Real Madrid and Benfica. The Argentinian international has 32 international caps and regarded highly around Europe, but it is still questionable whether Garay could adapt to the Premier League, having been linked with United on previous occasions.

Kostas Manolas has reportedly been watched by United (Picture: thesun.co.uk)
Kostas Manolas in action for Roma against Real Madrid (Picture: thesun.co.uk)

Greek defender Kostas Manolas has also been linked to United throughout the summer with Chelsea and Arsenal also said to be interested in the Roma defender. His pace and power are assets suited well to the Premier League, however it is said United would have to pay upwards of £40m to get their man.

Ben Parsons

Sports Writer- The United Stand

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Dylan Ryan
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Dylan Ryan

Please sign Kostas Manolas!!!

Paul Gardiner
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I’m with you on that, Dylan! He would be my choice.