Jose Mourinho prioritising signing a left back before the transfer window shuts

by Leo Nieboer

Jose Mourinho will place emphasis on signing a left-back at Manchester United before the transfer window shuts, according to Duncan Castles.

The Portuguese recently expressed a desire to sign a winger before the window shuts, alluding to Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic, but that deal is now off the table for good.

He found himself fluctuating between left-backs last season, using a mixture of Luke Shaw, Matteo Darmian, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Ashley Young, and has kept an eye on Tottenham Hotspur’s Danny Rose as a potential first choice option.

And Castles, speaking on The Transfer Window podcast, has noted that Mourinho will now place his emphasis on securing a left-back after losing out on Perisic.

“Jose Mourinho is now prioritising a left-back as a way of solving some very obvious weaknesses in his squad going into his second Premier League campaign,” he said.

“And Danny Rose is one of the candidates for that position. Partly because there’s a lack of really high quality left-backs available on the market.

“He’s been investigating who he can take from the European market and has been told there’s not a great candidate, with the best already going to their rivals – Benjamin Mendy at Manchester City.

“And Danny Rose is in a very interesting position and has given a very interesting interview.”

Mourinho’s decision to abandon his pursuit of a winger makes sense. Perisic has been a lost cause for some time, you sense, and the club ought to now focus on more realistic targets.

Then again, as Castles points out, options are wearing thin. Tottenham will not sell Rose to a rival, especially after letting Kyle Walker leave for Manchester City. Barcelona’s Jordi Alba is another option but Ernesto Valverde will be reluctant to let any further players leave having only managed to sign Paulinho so far this summer.

What this all means for Luke Shaw, however, is another question entirely. Whether Mourinho signs another left back or not is beside the point: he clearly doesn’t believe that the Englishman, either because of form or fitness, can serve as a reliable first choice this season.

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