Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been forced into something of a transfer u-turn following a warning from the club’s board.
According to reports in Spain, the Red Devils have warned the Portuguese tactician that he has just one season left to turn things around at Old Trafford and mount a genuine challenge to Manchester City for the Premier League.
United have not progressed as hoped under Mourinho and the club are now seemingly not willing to wait longer than another year for the manager to finally bring the league title back to the Theatre of Dreams.
According to Don Balon, this means Mourinho has decided he’s willing to sacrifice David de Gea for an asking price of around €80million, or at least the equivalent, with a further €40m to be paid to Real Madrid as part of a deal for star forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
De Gea has been one of United’s best players for a number of years now and fans would no doubt be disappointed to see him go, but Mourinho’s view seems to be that strengthening with a world class signing in attack is a bigger priority.
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Real have long been linked with De Gea and if they finally land the Spanish shot-stopper it could mean they’re more open to lower Ronaldo’s asking price.
And of course a return for the 33-year-old to United would surely be hugely popular among the club’s fans after his success with them earlier in his career.
The Portugal international remains one of the best forward players in the world and is in lethal goalscoring form right now despite a slow start to this season.
With 37 goals in 35 games in all competitions, Ronaldo could be just the player needed to help deliver United their first title since 2012/13 as it’s clear this current crop of attackers are not quite up to the job.
Romelu Lukaku has a decent record for his first season in a United shirt but has been inconsistent, while Alexis Sanchez has endured a nightmare start, scoring just one goal since joining from Arsenal in January.
When asked a few weeks ago about the prospect of De Gea going to Real Madrid, Goal quote Mourinho’s response as being: ‘I don’t know what Real Madrid’s intentions are, but if I were them, I would think of another player.’
Marca have since reported that Madrid have turned their attention to Roma ‘keeper Alisson as an alternative, but it may be that Mourinho has u-turned on this decision after this warning from upstairs.