Manchester United: Mkhitaryan latest; Real Madrid youngster targeted; German winger linked
In Thursday’s Manchester United transfer round-up, the Manchester Evening News are reporting Jose Mourinho interest in Real Madrid and France defender Raphael Varane.
According to reports, the Old Trafford boss is keen to further boost his defensive options and has identified the 23-year-old as another potential target from La Liga.
This news emerges just over a week after Mourinho secured his first signing as United manager – Villarreal centre-back Eric Bailly.
Varane’s first team opportunities at the Bernabeau have been limited by Pepe and the 23-year-old missed out on a place in France’s Euro 2016 squad because of a hamstring injury.
With the promise of first-team football at Old Trafford, it is believed that the Frenchman could be convinced to move to Old Trafford.
Varane started just 14 of Real’s 34 games between December and May last season, making a total of 33 appearances in all competitions across the campaign.
During this time, he completed an impressive 88% of his passes out from the back, while finding success in two of every three aerial duels.
A player with huge potential, who is both adept in the air and composed when in possession, he would be an excellent partner for Chris Smalling at the centre of United’s defence.
Meanwhile, Fenerbahce are interested in signing Juan Mata from Manchester United, according to reports in Turkey, which suggest that the Turkish giants are keen on a move for the midfielder.
Fenerbache reportedly want Mata to replace Diego Ribas who could move to France this summer, having previously raided the Old Trafford outfit for Nani and Robin van Persie in the past.
Mata finished the latest campaign as the Red Devils’ second most creative player, behind captain Wayne Rooney, managing five assists alongside a key pass rate of 1.4 per appearance.
Deployed on the right-flank for much of Louis van Gaal’s time at the club, the 28-year-old proved to one of very few players capable of sparking United into life at will.
However, the Spaniard was sold to United by Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, and now the Portuguese head coach is in charge at Old Trafford, his future appears to be uncertain once again.
There is no doubt he would be a huge loss for the club, and the supporters would certainly be sad to see him leave.
The majority will feel that the beloved midfielder still has plenty to offer. However, having seen Mourinho sell him at his previous club, this rumour certainly has legs.
In other news, Manchester United have failed with a £19million move for Borussia Dortmund’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan. That is according to a number of sources, including the Mirror.
Dortmund insist they won’t sell the want-away midfielder after already losing two of their biggest stars already this summer.
Mkhitaryan has emerged as a target for the Red Devils, as well as Premier League rivals Arsenal and Chelsea after scoring 23 goals and racking up 32 assists for Dortmund last season.
With Juan Mata likely to depart this summer, Mkhitaryan would undoubtedly shoulder the creative burden at Old Trafford.
Having fashioned 2.7 key passes and a further 2.6 shots at goal, per appearance, the Armenian international’s efforts in the Bundesliga last term far outweighed those of his Spanish counterpart.
Finally, Wolfsburg forward Julian Draxler is being linked with Manchester United by German news outlet Bild.
They report the 22-year-old is not fully committed to seeing out the five-year deal he signed only last summer when completing a £25.5million move from Schalke 04 last summer.
That uncertainty has put the winger on Jose Mourinho’s radar according to reports in Germany, although he is sure to command a big transfer fee should any bid from Old Trafford be forthcoming.
Draxler was in action for Germany tonight, but was unable to have any real impact on the game before being substitutes with 20 minutes left to play.
He recorded 48 touches in total, while managing two shots and two key passes, but despite a bright performance on the left flank, his attempts to break the dead-lock proved futile.
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