Jacob Steinberg on 9 October 2018
Now that Manchester United are back, José Mourinho can get down to business. Having confirmed himself as the world’s greatest manager with that stunning comeback against the most fearsome Newcastle United side in living memory, Mourinho has the support of United’s board again and that means he can start planning to reinforce his squad in January. There’s no way his job situation is going to change before the transfer window opens. Not now Ed Woodward is his best friend again and willing to release funds for some new defenders.
Woodward stuck his fingers in his ears every time Mourinho brought him a shopping list in the summer but United’s CEO is willing to listen at the moment. He’s going to nod along as Mourinho spends the next three months gushing about Milan’s Alessio Romagnoli and Internazionale’s Milan Skriniar. Then he’s going to reach for his wallet, pull out a fiver and sign Helsingborg’s 33-year-old defender Andreas Granqvist in January. “There is indeed interest,” Granqvist said. “I am honoured that I am linked with such a big club.” Weirdly that might not be enough to convince David de Gea to extend his contract before it runs out in 2020.
Ander Herrera could also be on his way out of Old Trafford. The Spaniard looks likely to return to Athletic Bilbao when his contract runs out next summer, which means that he could miss out on United pretending that they want to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho for £100m. Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham are also interested in the England hotshot.
Tottenham, who are battling with Manchester City and Southampton for Sunderland’s Josh Maja, could be in pole position when the Sancho race hots up. But only because they’ll have money to burn after selling Harry Kane. Real Madrid want to splurge £200m on Kane next summer.
Besiktas want to sign Everton’s Cenk Tosun on loan. Barcelona are watching Genoa’s Polish striker, Krzysztof Piatek. City, Liverpool and Tottenham are also hovering around hopefully.
Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi could be set for a loan move to Aston Villa, who could be set to hire Thierry Henry as their new manager, or John Terry, or Roberto Martínez, or John Gregory.