United began the week looking for at least two more additions to their squad but with the money being spent in the ‘crazy’ market, Mourinho accepted that he will have to be happy with just one more signing.
After weeks of haggling over the price, it seemed as though Inter Milan and Manchester United were close to reaching an agreement for Perisic at the start of the week. The fee reported was £40m rising to £44m in bonuses and add-ons. Perisic even withdrew himself from Inter’s Touring party and agreed a £100k a week package with United. But the expected announcement never came as Perisic was part of the group of players that boarded the flight to China with Inter. An Inter director confirmed that the asking price was not met.
As news of the failure to land Perisic trickled in, Mourinho revealed that he will settle for just one more signing instead of the two more he originally wanted. The player expected to come in will be a defensive midfielder (an educated guess) and the names on the top of Mourinho’s wishlist were Eric Dier and Nemanja Matic.
Manchester United reportedly had two bids believed to be in the region of around £40m-45m rejected by Tottenham earlier in the summer for Eric Dier. Frustrated at the negotiating table, United reportedly submitted a £60m ‘take it or leave it’ offer to Tottenham. Spurs rejected the bid and do not want to part with a player earmarked for a big role in the coming season.
United previously had a bid for Matic rejected and after the signing of Lukaku, a deal for the midfield powerhouse would have been a surprise. After completing the signing of Tiemoune Bakayoko, Matic is expected to leave Stamford Bridge this summer. The Serbian trained alone and was omitted from the Chelsea Tour squad.
With the player wanting a move to United and Chelsea reluctant to sell, it would take an intervention from Abramovich himself to make the move a reality. Abramovich reportedly did give his seal of approval to Matic joining United as a goodwill gesture for his services in helping the club win two of the last two Premier League titles.
But Chelsea will add what has been called the ‘Lukaku tax’ to any deal for the Serbian. The tax essentially takes Matic’s asking price to £50m, much higher than the £45m previously quoted. But United will pay the sum to complete their third transfer of the summer and Matic could be a Red by the time I sit down to write the next week’s Rumour roundup.
Though a move for the right-back seems like a long shot, United were linked with the wantaway PSG player. After securing the services of Dani Alves, Aurier, who wasn’t first choice to begin with, would have found chances at his favoured position limited. He put in a transfer request which was confirmed by the Paris club.
While a fee around £25m may be enough to secure the services of Aurier, Mourinho is willing to trust Timothy Fosu-Mensah at the position going forward. And with Darmian declaring his intent to stay on at United, the competition for the right-back slot is tough even without signing Aurier. Pogba, who is a good friend of Aurier, reportedly urged Mourinho to snap up the 24 year old.