Manchester United: Defender turned Mourinho down; target signs new contract; Mkhitaryan fitness latest
Manchester United made some very good, if expensive, signings over the summer transfer window, but it has been revealed that they did attempt to complete another big money deal in the shape of Real Madrid centre back Raphael Varane.
Varane, who was signed for Real Madrid by Mourinho, said he was flattered by United’s interest but was “in sync” with Real Madrid on where he wants to be in his career.
Varane currently battles with Pepe for a place alongside Sergio Ramos in the heart of the Real Madrid defence, and is seen as the future leader of the European Champions’ back line.
Signing for Manchester United would have meant he would automatically be first choice, and the prospect of him playing alongside the excellent Eric Bailly would have been a tantalising one, but it appears as if Varane may just be out of reach for Mourinho. The quest for a new central defender will have to wait until January at the earliest.
Elsewhere, Manchester United target Gianluigi Donnarumma is reportedly set to put and end to any rumours about his future by signing a new contract with AC Milan.
Donnarumma is the 17-year-old goalkeeping sensation who made the headlines last season when he began playing regularly for his boyhood team AC Milan. He recently made his Italy debut in a friendly against France, and as is the natural response to a teenager playing professional football in the modern era, Donnarumma has been linked with several top clubs, including Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madrid.
Although the signing now appears to be almost impossible, it would be hard to see United going for the deal at the present time anyway. In David de Gea, they have one of the best goalkeepers in world football, who’s career is only really just getting going in real terms at 25.
If all goes to plan, United could have the Spaniard performing at a top level for the club for another 8-10 years, which would make Donnarumma a vain back-up signing and stall the youngsters excellent progress. United don’t need to find a replacement for de Gea yet, and until he reaches his 30s or moves on, it would be a strange move to bring in another first choice goalkeeper.
Finally, United are still unsure of whether they will have Henrikh Mkhitaryan at their disposal for the Manchester derby, with the Armenian’s fitness still in doubt.
Mkhitaryan was injured on international duty at the end last week, and the Armenian FA said he would need between a week and ten days to recover, meaning a return is a possibility but far from certain.
Although he is yet to start a league game, Mkhitaryan has shown flashes of what he can bring to United from the bench, and he would be an excellent option to bring on in the second half of the derby if the game is tight. With Manchester City certainly missing Aguero, it could be the big difference.
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