Mourinho identifies Shaw replacement as Man Utd eye player-plus-cash deal
Jose Mourinho has made Juventus full-back Alex Sandro his number one transfer target to replace Luke Shaw this summer.
The England left-back has struggled for game time once again under the Red Devils boss this season and is seemingly all out of chances.
With the 22-year-old potentially going this summer, Manchester United are prioritising a deal for the Brazilian which could involve Matteo Darmian heading in the opposite direction, report the Manchester Evening News.
It is understood United’s interest in Tottenham defender Danny Rose has cooled and Mourinho is prepared to let Celtic youngster Kieran Tierney move to another Premier League club as he targets Brazil international Sandro.
Mourinho travelled to Glasgow to watch Scotland’s friendly defeat to Costa Rica at Hampden Park in March amid interest in Tierney, 20, but the three-time PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year was injured. Bournemouth are understood to be prepared to match Celtic’s valuation of Tierney but Liverpool could intervene despite signing Tierney’s national team competitor Andy Robertson in the summer.
Darmian’s possible move to Juventus could enable United to negotiate a player-plus-cash deal for the 27-year-old Sandro, whose contract expires in 2020. United have monitored 27-year-old Rose’s situation at Spurs over the last year but Mourinho has settled on Sandro as his preferred successor for Shaw.
Sandro returned from a 15-month exile from the Brazil squad in June but has only attained 11 caps and is far from guaranteed to make coach Tite’s World Cup squad, which would allow him to travel to the United States for United’s pre-season tour in mid-July.
United are also eager to sign Sandro’s compatriot, Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred, and Mourinho hinted at a Brazilian summer signing in an interview with ESPN Brasil last week.
"I think that a team without a Brazilian isn’t a team," Mourinho said. "But also, a squad with three or four Brazilian athletes, depending on their profile, cannot make a great team too. I’m kidding!
"I think their talent is fantastic and the creativity of the Brazilian player cannot be measured. If a European team, like, very European, could have a Brazilian in their squad, it would bring a ‘Brazilian thing’ to the game and I think that’s very important." Mourinho previously attempted to bring Chelsea winger Willian to United.
Shaw’s winter resurgence convinced United to relax plans to make a left-back addition in the summer but Mourinho is unsatisfied with the England international’s progress and Shaw could leave in the summer.
Shaw, Darmian and Daley Blind are all out of contract next year and set to exit as part of Mourinho’s defensive overhaul. United have recorded the most Premier League clean sheets this season but Mourinho has had to rely on auxiliary full-backs and failed to settle on a consistent central defensive axis due to injuries to Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo, while Victor Lindelof has experienced a rocky introduction to English football.
United have shown interest in Spurs centre-back Toby Alderweireld, Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti and former United defender Jonny Evans, who has a £3million release clause should West Brom suffer relegation. Southampton right-back Cedric Soares is under consideration to become Antonio Valencia’s heir at right-back and sources close to Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin claim United have asked to be informed of the Spaniard’s developments.
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