Jose Mourino was lining up Jamaal Lascelles for January move to Manchester United only to be sacked – ESPN
Jose Mourinho was sacked two weeks short of the January 2019 transfer window.
Manchester United acting after a run of only one win in their last six Premier League games, the final straw a 3-1 humiliating home defeat to Liverpool.
Whilst Man Utd fans never really fully took to his style of football, a winning team papers over a lot of cracks.
However, whilst not exactly free scoring, the first 17 Premier League games of this season had seen Mourinho’s team score 29 goals and only fail to score in two of those matches.
The problem was more that as well as scoring 29 goals, they had conceded 29 goals in those 17 PL matches.
The previous season, Jose Mourino led Man Utd to runners-up spot, pretty much the best he could have done considering just how good Man City were.
That relative success wasn’t built so much on goals scored, their 68 goals was easily the lowest of the top four (Man City scoring 38 more).
Rather, it was that they conceded only 28 goals, one less than Man Utd conceded in the first 17 matches of this season (Only Man City conceded less last season, 27 compared to Man Utd’s 28).
A new report from ESPN says that sources have told them that Jose Mourinho had plans to sort out this defensive problem in the January 2019 window, with a shortlist of three defenders named in the report, to give Manchester United the ‘commanding centre-half’ they needed.
The three on that Mourinho shortlist according to the ESPN sources, were Milan Skriniar (Inter Milan), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli) and Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle United).
With the other two on the list very unlikely to be allowed to leave mid-season, you wonder what would have happened if Jose Mourinho had kept his job.
Rafa Benitez desperate for more goals and creativity, whilst centre-back he has a relative embarrassment of riches, in Schar, Fernandez, Clark, Lascelles and Lejeune.
Would the NUFC manager have been willing to trade his captain if there had indeed been a substantial Man Utd offer AND if Mike Ashley had this time allowed Benitez to have access to all the transfer fee in order to strengthen for the second half of the season?
Despite the change of manager and no guarantee of Solskjaer getting the job permanently, ESPN say that their sources have also told them that regardless of what happens regarding the manager’s job, a new commanding centre-back remains a big summer transfer target regardless.
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