While Manchester United have completed three major deals so far this summer, there remains a sense that Jose Mourinho would like to add one or two more new faces before the summer is out.
Despite The Sun reporting that the Red Devils’ ongoing pursuit of Inter Milan’s Croatian winger Ivan Perisic has ground to a halt and the future of long-time target Gareth Bale still extremely uncertain, there are suggestions that Mourinho is willing to change tack in the quest to bolster his squad.
What would Danny Rose’s arrival mean for Manchester United’s line-up?
According to the Independent, the Portuguese manager may have turned his attention to Tottenham’s left-back Danny Rose, who is currently recovering from the knee injury that caused him to miss the latter part of last season. This speculation first surfaced in May, when the Mirror linked the Doncaster-born Rose with a move back up North and highlighted Old Trafford as his most likely destination.
United’s interest appeared to have cooled since then, but the club’s failure to land key targets and Mourinho’s successful deployment of a three-man defence throughout the pre-season may have encouraged the Portuguese to identify new players who can lend their weight to a potential title challenge.
Mourinho used a three-man defence to devastating effect during a 2-0 league win against champions Chelsea last April, while he also utilised the system on numerous occasions during the summer. This included the recent, 2-1 win against Sampdoria in Dublin, when Matteo Darmian filled the left-wing back role with Antonio Valencia on the right.
While the Italian is excellent defensively, he lacks Rose’ penetration and pace in attack, and in this respect, the Tottenham defender would provide a far more balanced option. The same could also be said for Luke Shaw, of course, but the much-maligned England defender is still sidelined with injury and has yet to convince Mourinho that he has the focus or tactical awareness to fulfill the role that is asked of him.
Even if United are inclined to make a move for Rose, it is debatable whether or not Tottenham will want to do business. The club is certainly under no pressure to sell, despite facing the difficult challenge of balancing funding player recruitment with building a new stadium.
Not only this, but the recent sale of fellow full-back Kyle Walker has already bolstered the coffers to the tune of £53 million, so there is no need to sell a player who only signed a five-year contract in September of 2016.
The sale of Walker cannot be used as an indication of Tottenham’s mentality, either, with the full-back thought to have fallen out of favour with Pochettino and Kieran Trippier considered to be an able replacement with superior delivery in the final third.
Will a deal for Rose materialise?
Much will depend on how the player himself sees his future, of course, as well as the extent of United’s desire to land the full-back. After all, while he would be a natural fit in a flat back four, especially as an attack-minded wing-back, United would probably need to make a huge bid that was equal to (or more likely in excess of) the £53 million paid by City for the services of Walker.
This seems unlikely at present, although we have definitely not heard the end of this speculation with the close of the summer transfer window still more than three weeks away.