JOSE MOURINHO has targeted Alabanian defender Elseid Hysaj after deciding to dump Chris Smalling and Matteo Darmian from his squad, according to Daily Star
Manchester United boss Mourinho has lost patience with defensive duo Smalling and Darmian and has decided to offload them in the January transfer window.
And he is already making plans to replace them – with Napoli’s £25million rated Hysaj high on his wanted list.
Hysaj has spent most of his career at right-back but has the versatility to place in the centre of defence when needed, much like Branislav Ivanovic when he was signed by Chelsea.
The 22-year-old cost Napoli just £5million when he moved to the Serie A club in 2015, but has already been rewarded with a new deal in that time as the result of his impact on the side.
Given he is tied to the club for the next four years, Napoli know they can command a hefty asking price, and it would take a bid of £25m before flamboyant owner Aurelio De Laurentiis would be tempted to do business.
Mourinho has decided neither Smalling or Darmian are part of his long-term plans after giving them six months to prove themselves.
Italian international Darmian, 26, has struggled to make any impact since his move to Old Trafford two years ago and has fallen out with the United boss over the lack of first team chances.
Darmian claims he has no idea why he is not playing for United, but a swift exit in January is likely with a string of Serie A clubs interested in his services.
Smalling’s commitment to the cause has been questioned by Mourinho, though the England defender is currently sidelined after breaking his toe.