According to reports in The Sun , Jose Mourinho has entered the race to sign Tottenham Hotspur full-backs Danny Rose and Kyle Walker as he attempts to take them from under the nose of the onlooking Pep Guardiola.
The report suggests that Mourinho is lining up a £60 million deal to beat rivals Manchester City to the England duo, with the Manchester United manager looking to strengthen his back-line before mounting a title challenge next season.
The two have 35 England caps between them and over 300 Premier League appearances, and have been a huge part of helping Spurs climb into contention for the Champions League spots this season.
What would the duo bring to Manchester United?
Both players have taken to Premier League life superbly since their respective arrivals at Tottenham in 2007 (Rose) and 2009 (Walker), and their knowledge of Premier League football would enable them to slot into a Manchester United side easily.
Both players are arguably two of the best full-backs in England’s top division at present, and have been outstanding over the past two years as Tottenham have clawed their way into challenging for the title.
Their pure pace on the flanks is enough to terrify defences, and means that their ability to overlap and add an extra attacking dimension out wide is a huge bonus; and they also know how to find the back of the net, something that Manchester United’s full-backs haven’t managed to do with regularity since Patrice Evra made the left-back position his own.
For a point of comparison, in his last 92 Manchester United appearances as a right-back (dating back to September 2013), Antonio Valencia has only managed to score twice; in the same time-frame, Rose has managed seven goals.
Is a move away likely?
For Tottenham and Chairman Daniel Levy to let them both go, when they are both currently such integral parts of the Spurs first-team, would be a huge surprise – especially considering that they both signed new five-year deals at White Hart Lane earlier in the season.
However, with neither player having a release clause on their contract a big money offer – in the area of £30 million – could potentially be enough to tempt Levy into selling one of them.
Spurs also have a track record of letting their big stars leave if the right amount of money is offered – Luka Modric and Gareth Bale are a prime example – so a move away from White Hart Lane is not completely off the table.
It’s also very much plausible that Mourinho is on the look-out to strengthen his defensive line, particularly after the make-shift defence he has had at his disposal for most of the current campaign.
With Luke Shaw out through injury, United haven’t had a set left-back all season; Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo, Ashley Young, Phil Jones and Matteo Darmian have all been experimented on the left-hand side of United’s defence this year, yet Danny Rose could be the perfect fit.
With Shaw seemingly set to return from injury anytime soon though, and with the 21-year-old arguably having the best years of his career ahead of him if he can stay injury-free, United may not need to acquire the services of either Rose or Walker.
Have a look at some of the best social media reaction below – including one fan calling Mourinho “deluded”…
THE SUN claimed City want Walker and Rose for 60m.and people believe it? THE SUN. When have they ever got a potential transfer correct?😂
— Ricky Hayward (@rickyhayward) January 10, 2017
£60m for Rose and Walker? Jose must be smoking something special.
— Tottenham Guy (@WitchFC) January 10, 2017
— Example Ev (@saltyboy9) January 10, 2017
60m for rose and Walker still ain't enough !
— Adam Wren (@ADDTHFC) January 10, 2017
Going to be tough next season once we've sold Kane/Alli/Walker/Rose/Lloris/Eriksen/Alderweireld/Dier/Tea Lady #slownewsday
— Nickal (@Nickal10) January 10, 2017
Danny Rose recently signed a new contract until 2021
Kyle Walker recently signed a new contract until 2021.
Obviously means they're off. 🙄
— Mr Bolt (@epic_24) January 10, 2017
Man united want rose and Walker for £60m combined 😂 levy won't even pick up the phone
— N'Connor-Peters (@ConnorShacklock) January 10, 2017
Jose in for Walker AND Rose? He deluded? 😂
— Chris (@ChrisTwoFour_) January 10, 2017
£60 million for Rose and Walker 😂 You wouldn't get one of them for that. #COYS
— James Freeman (@jimbotheyid) January 10, 2017
3/10 – Mauricio Pochettino has finally got his Spurs side challenging with the very best at the top of the Premier League, and if the recent 2-0 victory over league leaders Chelsea is anything to go by, then both Rose and Walker are absolutely vital to Tottenham’s progression. It’s very unlikely that both will go, with only a slim chance of a big-money offer tempting one of them away in summer.