Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is turning his attentions to signing a central defensive leader in the style of Nemanja Vidic, sources have said.
Although a €120 million world-record deal for midfielder Paul Pogba has yet to be completed, the club are relaxed in the knowledge that all major terms have been agreed and that there are only a few details to be finalised.
As a result, Mourinho is now focused on bringing in another centre-back — specifically a defensive leader. The United hierarchy have discussed the possibility of bringing in Southampton’s Jose Fonte (who won Euro 2016 with Portugal) but Mourinho wants to fully monitor what is acknowledged to be a thin market for centre-backs before fully pursuing any deals.
Sources have said that United raised the possibility of signing Leonardo Bonucci with Juventus in the process of negotiating the Pogba deal, and remain interested in the Italian, but are wary of more lengthy discussions with the Serie A club.
United are also monitoring John Stones’ situation. Sources have said that Everton would be willing to sell the 22-year-old for £50m, but the defender doesn’t fit the profile that Mourinho wants: an experienced leader in the style of Old Trafford legend Vidic or his old Chelsea captain John Terry.
United have already signed Eric Bailly for £30m from Villarreal, but Mourinho is keen to add to his defence ahead of the new Premier League season.
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