MOURINHO FED UP
It’s been a full 24 hours since The Sun broke a Jose Mourinho exclusive, but fear not, Friday bears the fruitiest of fruit. And it isn’t Neil Custis with the report. What a glorious day.
Nope, this comes from Phil Cadden, who claims that Mourinho is ‘fed up of waiting’ for Manchester United to appoint him as manager. So ‘fed up’ in fact, that he’s arranged a meeting with Inter Milan co-owner Massimo Moratti this weekend. The Portuguese will consider an offer to return to the club he managed to Champions League glory in 2010, Cadden writes.
Now, describing Moratti as an Inter Milan co-owner is fine. It’s great. No problem. We do prefer minority owner, however; Moratti owns less than 30 per cent of the Italian club. Majority owner Erick Thohir would probably have some sway as to whether Mourinho is appointed manager.
Cadden adds that Mourinho has already refused offers from Real Madrid and Roma to take over this season as he waits for the United job, but the former Chelsea manager is ‘growing impatient’. United appear to be intent on keeping Louis van Gaal at the helm regardless of which European minnow they lose to, but Cadden adds: ‘The prospect of seeing Mourinho slip through United’s fingers may prove the straw the breaks the camel’s back.’
Basically, it suits Moratti to lavish praise on a former friend and colleague, and it suits Mourinho to have his meeting with a club other than United become public knowledge. We just wonder who gave Cadden the information?
Corriere dello Sport obviously have not received the Mourinho memo. The Italian daily reports that Jose Mourinho has identified Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi as his main transfer target for when he takes the Manchester United job. That’s presumably what the meetings with Moratti have been about.
Not only that, but Inter have made a counter-offer to United. If they want Icardi, they must offer right-back Matteo Darmian in exchange. Well, that’s new.
Despite being unemployed, Mourinho is certainly a very busy man. We return to The Sun for more news of the players he has lined up for when he takes the Manchester United job (although we thought he was headed to Inter Milan?)
Gary Stonehouse reports – not exclusively – that Atletico Madrid are looking at completing a ‘sensational swoop’ for Juan Mata, with their forward Antoine Griezmann potentially headed the other way. Tasty.
The Mata reports emanate from Spanish bulls**tters Fichajes.net, and revolves around the whole ‘Mourinho hates Mata’ thing. Which is fine. Whatever.
But on top of that, Diego Simeone has ‘reportedly resigned himself’ to losing Griezmann this summer. The Frenchman is a long-term target of United’s, and has scored 19 goals in 33 games this season. The 24-year-old is believed to have a £60m buy-out clause in his contract.
CITY WANT GRANIT
Granit Xhaka wants to move to the Premier League. We know this because he makes a point of telling us.
On February 18: “Everybody has a childhood dream and that’s my childhood dream.”
On February 5: “England is my dream. I do not hide it.”
On January 20: “I have a childhood dream, and that is the Premier League.”
And so on. He didn’t have many childhood dreams, did he? Well, the Swiss midfielder might realise it, as German daily Bild reports that Manchester City want him for £39million. Still. We heard this ages ago. Arsenal and Liverpool are also supposedly interested.
AND THE REST
Manchester United are considering selling striker and captain Wayne Rooney in the summer after receiving a bid for the 30-year-old from a Chinese Super League club. Rooney could earn £500,000 a week as part of the deal…New York Red Bulls and Orlando City want to take Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure, 32, to MLS. The Ivorian is expected to leave the Etihad when Pep Guardiola takes over as manager in the summer…Swansea hope to sign Ghana defender Jonathan Mensah, 25, from French club Evian on a free transfer…Chelsea have met with representatives of Italy coach Antonio Conte, 46, as they search for a permanent successor to the sacked Jose Mourinho…Luis Cavani, father of Paris St-Germain striker Edinson, would like his son to move to Real Madrid, Manchester United or Juventus. The 29-year-old has been played out wide in the French capital…Former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner, 28, could treble his £35,000-a-week wages at Wolfsburg by moving to the Chinese Super League…Inter Milan will try to renegotiate with Manchester City to avoid triggering a permanent deal for 26-year-old striker Stevan Jovetic, who has been on loan at the San Siro since July…Incoming Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti wants AC Milan’s Colombia international Carlos Bacca, 29, to replace Robert Lewandowski if the 27-year-old Poland international leaves the German champions…Liverpool are considering triggering the £6.2million release clause for Real Betis goalkeeper Antonio Adan.