Manchester United are in talks with Bayern Munich over the transfer of defender Jerome Boateng, according to a number of reports.
Jose Mourinho has for some time been after a central defender in this window, with Toby Alderweireld seemingly edging closer to moving to Old Trafford.
The 55-year-old was asked about signing Boateng – who had only been tenuously linked to Man United by that point – and refused to rule out the prospect, noting that the board knew what he wanted.
On Tuesday, however, an explosion of reports have emerged regarding talks with Boateng, with the Telegraph‘s Sam Wallace confirming Bayern valued Boateng at around £50m.
The BBC‘s Simon Stone also noted that talks had begun but stressed there remained several stumbling blocks before any deal could go through.
.@ManUtd are trying to sign a centre-half. Boateng is on list. But determined not to be held to ransom. Feeling is fees still artificially high due to Neymar deal. As previously advised, club voted against early deadline. Would be interesting to see what the vote would be now.
— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) August 6, 2018
Sky Germany, albeit no longer credible like they were, have joined German media outlet Bild in reporting the same thing.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) August 6, 2018
The timing of this rumour is strange given Mourinho was asked about the German last night, but there nonetheless seems to be weight to these claims.
Signing Boateng would be a considerable downgrade on Alderweireld. The former has a worrying injury record and is approaching his thirties. It is worth nothing that Bayern, as seen with Bastian Schweinsteiger, never even consider selling their best players to other clubs. That they are willing to part ways with Boateng is a warning sign in itself.