World-class Defender at Man Utd? The Reds Linked With a Move for €24m Star

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho wants to sign either Southampton’s Jose Fonte or Atletico Madrid’s Diego Godin, according to reports

The United manager is desperate to bring in an experienced man to nurture the likes of Eric Bailly and Phil Jones, according to the Sunday People.

The link to both players is nothing new, with United regularly linked with Southampton’s Fonte since Mourinho took charge at Old Trafford – though claims he could leave St Mary’s have intensified over the past week after it emerged the player has been unable to agree a new long-term deal with the club.

Atletico’s no-nonsense centre-half Godin is another who has long been linked with United – and it’s no surprise to see his name crop up again as Mourinho bids to bring in an experienced centre-half.

The Sunday People claims Mourinho will, however, allow Chris Smalling to leave Old Trafford and wants either Fonte or Godin to add experience to his backline. It also claims in Bailly and Jones, the United manager believes he has two players capable of becoming long-term mainstays in the Red Devils’ backline.

The €24.5m-rated Uruguayan who has plied his trade at a top European club, Atletico Madrid, for over 250 appearances and six years. He is a calming influence with immaculate organisation and even an eye for goal. The 30-year-old has been crowned the best La Liga defender for 2015-16.

Mourinho has seen ­defensive frailties hurt United this season, ­particularly in the Old Trafford draws against Arsenal, West Ham and away at Everton.

That’s why he’s ­adamant he must seek the same ­experience at the back that Sir Alex Ferguson had with Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand – and Mourinho ­himself enjoyed with Chelsea.

In his first spell at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho had Ricardo Carvalho and John Terry as his main ­central defensive partnership, and his title success two ­seasons ago saw Terry partnering Gary Cahill.

Mourinho wants United mentally tough at the back – and he thinks the titles will follow if he can land an experienced man to lead his defence.

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