The Manchester United manager will reportedly try and get rid of Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo in January so as to fund a move for a new centre-back
The two defenders have fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford, and the Daily Telegraph reports that Mourinho wants to raise some cash to invest on the new centre-back that he could not sign in the summer. Harry Maguire, Toby Alderweireld, Jerome Boateng, Diego Godin and Yerry Mina were all supposed targets in the summer, but the club board blocked the Portuguese boss’ efforts to pursue any of them.
Now, Mourinho is ready to offload the pair — with Bailly in fact Mourinho’s first signing at Old Trafford when he signed from Villarreal for around £25 million in June 2016. Despite showing potential, the 24-year-old has fallen out of favour and has only made three Premier League starts this season — and has not played since getting hauled off after 19 minutes against Newcastle on October 6.
The Ivory Coast man has not been part of the 18-man squad for the last three Premier League matches, and if United get a agreeable offer for him in the winter transfer window they will sell him. Argentinian defender Rojo is also said to be up for sale — another player who has struggled for game time and is yet to play this season.
The 28-year-old remains from the Louis van Gaal era after signing in 2014 for £16 million from Sporting Lisbon, but his time in Manchester is almost up. Mourinho is believed to have Inter defender Milan Skriniar and Napoli centre-half Kalidou Koulibaly on his wishlist, with Fabio Capello claiming last month that the former Chelsea manager had told him he was looking at the pair.
While United have also bee linked with AC Milan’s Alessio Romagnoli, one man Mourinho may be unable to offload is Alexis Sanchez.
I think selling Eric Bailly would be unforgivable. He’s shown many times when he’s given a run in the side that he’s easily our best defender. Alongside Lindelof, who’s starting to settle in well, we have a very strong partnership there.
— The Man Utd Way (@TheManUtdWay) November 13, 2018
The Chile attacker is on a huge £500,000 a week at Old Trafford, but his move last January from Arsenal has turned out to be an expensive mistake. The 29-year-old is believed to be looking for a way out of United, but his options are limited thanks to his huge contract. He has netted just once this season and was dropped to the bench for the defeat at Manchester City, and any potential move away would involve a large financial sacrifice from the player and club, with Sanchez less than a year into a contract which runs until June 2022.
Mourinho being said to be ready to sell his players isn’t a big shock, for it has coming for months, but the name of Bailly is pretty surprising considering he was the Portuguese’s first signing. Regardless, the team is in need of defensive recruitment and it won’t be a surprise if other defenders like Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian and Phil Jones are asked to leave as well.