Former-England manager Fabio Capello has revealed that Jose Mourinho targeted two Serie A defenders for Manchester United in the summer.
The Man United boss was eager to bring in defensive reinforcements but was left without any signings in central defence when the transfer window closed at the earlier-than-previously-usual date of August 9th, just before the opening weekend of the Premier League season.
In the late stages of the transfer window, United were heavily linked with two Premier League defenders. Leicester City and England’s Harry Maguire was one name mentioned, though the United board reportedly deemed him too expensive. Meanwhile, Toby Alderweireld of Tottenham Hotspur was linked throughout the summer but supposedly considered too old by United officials.
Capello revealed to Sky Calcio that Mourinho was looking at Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar and Napoli’s Senegalese international Kalidou Koulibaly.
“This summer at a meeting of the coaches, I met Mourinho,” Capello explained.
“He was looking for two defenders: one was Skriniar and the other was Koulibaly.”
It’s an interesting revelation. Many had assumed that United’s targets were solely Alderweireld and Maguire. Diego Godin was also linked.
However, it’d be unsurprising if Mourinho was targeting Skriniar and Koulibaly. Both have been scouted by United in the past and both represent better options than Maguire and Alderweireld.
It’s possible that Mourinho initially targeted the pair and then later moved on to Maguire and Alderweireld after it became clear that signing the Serie A defenders would not be possible. Skriniar has been mentioned as a possibility since the transfer window shut, although it seems extremely unlikely that Inter would allow him to leave.