Jose Mourinho has been denied a fourth signing of the summer after Manchester United chiefs ruled out the prospect of making an offer for Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez, according to reports.
The Portuguese has made it clear throughout the summer that, on top of a centre-back, midfielder and striker, he would like to see a wide attacking player arrive ahead of the 2017/18 season.
Man United made extensive efforts to prize Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic away from the San Siro to no avail and also flirted with the idea of moving for Gareth Bale.
And according to SFR Sport, the United board have decided against making a last ditch bid to sign Mahrez, who has targeted a move to a top six club this summer.
Mourinho’s interest in Mahrez makes sense: the Algerian is a bold, skilful winger and a Premier League champion, but the price United would have to pay would not be justifiable. A special talent, sure. He took Daley Blind for a ride during the second half of last weekend’s 2-0 win over Craig Shakespeare’s men. But can he deliver on a consistent basis?
Is he able to cope with the extensive demands Mourinho places on defensive work and the tactical side of each game? If the Portuguese really wanted him this transfer would have been wrapped up for some time now. This late flurry suggests Mourinho, in his pursuit of a wide player, is running out of options.