Whilst United fans may be dreaming of the likes of Raphael Varane or Leonardo Bonucci, another defender has spoken on rumours linking him with a move to Old Trafford as Southampton captain Jose Fonte is reported to have described himself as “flattered” by the rumours according to the Telegraph. They quote an interview with Portuguese outlet “Maies Futebol” where he says:
Manchester United is one of the biggest clubs in the world and that it makes me happy to be associated with it. But to be Manchester United’s player is a big difference.
Southampton are desperate to keep their man though and are preparing a new contract offer to persuade him to stay. Fonte is likely to be a cheaper alternative, and as a proven Premier League defender and Euro 2016 winner he would bring bags of experience to a young Manchester United defence should he join forces with his compatriot Jose Mourinho.
Heading the other way could be Matteo Darmian, who was left out of Sunday’s squad in the victory over Bournemouth, with the Mirror now reporting that Italian club Napoli are the favourites to secure his signature before the transfer window slams shut. Having only signed from Torino last summer, club bosses were said to be reluctant to sell, but are left with no choice as he clearly does not fit into Jose Mourinho’s plans and Darmian will instead seek first team football elsewhere, with a return to Italy most likely.
Darmian impressed at times under Louis Van Gaal last season, though he was criticised for his inconsistency, and was not expected to be one of those exiled by Mourinho. However, the former Chelsea boss has not been impressed by the 23-year-old and favoured Antonio Valencia at right back in their impressive 3-1 opening day victory, with Darmian not even earning a place on the bench, making it clear that his days as a Red Devil are numbered.
Another player who has suffered the same fate under Mourinho is Bastian Schweinsteiger, but the German continued to show his class by supporting his team as they opened the season with a victory by tweeting his best wishes and congratulations:
The midfielder has been forced to train with the reserves and no longer has a place in the first team dressing room according to the Telegraph, leading to accusations from Dejan Stankovic that Mourinho was bullying the World Cup winner.
Schweinsteiger has been told to find a new club and interest has been reported from clubs in England, Italy and Germany, though as of yet it is unclear where his destination will be. The only certainty seems to be that Schweinsteiger will no longer be a Manchester United player come September, one year on from his transfer to the club from German giants Bayern Munich, which many labelled as a bargain price for a player of his quality and experience at both club and international level.
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