ROAD TO WEMBLEY
Chelsea winger Willian’s representatives and are also prepared to bid for Spurs centre-half Toby Alderweireld.
West Brom defender Jonny Evans has a £3m release clause and is under consideration as a fall-back option but the flirtation with Samuel Umtiti is almost certain to result in a new Barcelona contract. Scouts watched Southampton right-back Cedric Soares but United have struggled to settle on a long-term replacement for Antonio Valencia and their interest in the Portuguese affiliate Renato Sanches was questionable.
United learnt in December Antoine Griezmann had his heart set on moving to Barcelona and that partly prompted the aggressive pursuit of Sanchez to occupy the ‘magician’ role Mourinho had earmarked for Griezmann. Mourinho loyalist Willian is viewed as an exception in that he is established and would provide balance to a lopsided frontline devoid of a specialist right winger. Mourinho admires Malcom but was concerned moving to United would be too much for the Brazilian 21-year-old.
Mourinho is consulting Michael Carrick on reinforcing United’s midfield in anticipation of Marouane Fellaini’s probable departure amid interest in the silky Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and the Lazio lynchpin is represented by Mourinho’s former player Mateja Kezman.
United looked at Napoli’s Jorginho earlier in the season but the Italy international is City’s midfield priority.
Jose Mourinho would like to make at least five signings Daley Blind could be on his way out of Old Trafford