It is pretty widely accepted that Jose Mourinho’s ideal centre-half signing at Manchester United is Kalidou Koulibaly. But if he is honest, he knows that’s never gonna happen: Koulibaly is in his prime at 27, and would likely command a world-record fee for a defender. No deal.
Toby Alderweireld is likely to be next on the list, followed by names such as Jerome Boateng, Diego Godin, Milan Skriniar, Harry Maguire and Joachim Andersen. None will come particularly cheap.
So Mourinho is now looking elsewhere, and Duncan Castles says his master has stumbled upon a solution. A fella called Eder Militao is tearing it up with Porto, is young, and would not be so expensive.
In an article for the Daily Record, Castles says Militao ‘has been identified as an individual who fits Manchester United’s preferred strategy of recruiting young talent ready to develop into elite players’. Who else is waiting for the exciting Nemanja Matic and Alexis Sanchez to realise their potential?
Porto ‘would expect to turn a large profit’ on a player they signed for a relative pittance. ‘A deal could be struck for far less than the €100m’ Matthijs de Ligt is being touted for, which really isn’t saying much. £50m is far less than £100m, and would still be loadsa money.
Manchester City and Everton are also interested, with Mourinho wanting a centre-half ‘blessed both with superior defensive skills’ than his current options, as well as ‘the personality and experience to lead and martial his back line’. Wait til he finds Marcos Rojo in the back of the cupboard.
WE WERE STAYING IN PARIS
PSG are not giving up on their pursuit of Fabinho. They were beaten to the Brazilian punch by Liverpool in the summer, and are still tending to a wounded ego. He is still the man they want.
According to L’Equipe, Wednesday’s Champions League showdown against Liverpool could be used as an attempt to get the ball rolling. Jurgen Klopp described suggestions that the Reds could cash in on the struggling midfielder already as “crazy”, but PSG seem determined to test his resolve.
L’Equipe say Wednesday’s game ‘may also be an opportunity’ for PSG chiefs ‘to cause transfer with their English counterparts’. You’d think both would have bigger things on their mind, like qualification and stuff.
But no: PSG ‘are thinking of repositioning themselves on Fabinho this winter and could evoke the subject very quickly’. The lack of alternatives ‘requires them not to waste time en route’.
Liverpool signed Fabinho for £43.7m. He might not have hit the ground running, but in the unlikely event that they look to sell him, they won’t exactly want to cut their losses. He is 25, has already excelled in France and is a Brazilian international. Cough up or f*** off, PSG.
AND THE REST
Ex-England left-back Ashley Cole, 37, has been offered a new deal by LA Galaxy – just days after being released by the club… But former Arsenal and Chelsea defender Cole is interested in a return to English football and has received offers from numerous Championship clubs… Manchester City are closing in on a deal for Columbus Crew and USA goalkeeper Zack Steffen, 23… A number of scouts from Football League clubs are set to watch Wolves defensive duo Dominic Iorfa, 23, and Ethan Ebanks-Landell, 25, in training with both players apparently surplus to requirements at Molineux… Eric Abidal, Barcelona’s sporting director, had dinner with Ajax’s 19-year-old Netherlands centre-back Matthijs de Ligt last week.