It is well known that Jose Mourinho is desperate to sign a world-class defender, and now there is renewed hope that Manchester United may finally get their man.
The much-publicised unhappiness between Mourinho and United vice-chairman Ed Woodward stems from the latter’s decision to not splash the cash after the World Cup.
United were then linked with a number of top-class defenders such as Harry Maguire, Toby Alderweireld, Raphael Varane and Diego Godin, but no deals were concluded.
Over the last few months, French World Cup winner Lucas Hernandez has been the main target, but it was reported that he had rejected a mega offer – which included doubling his wages – to move to Old Trafford in the January transfer window.
But this week, things may have changed.
Spanish paper Marca had an extended interview with Hernandez – who starred at left back for France at the World Cup, but is also comfortable playing as a centre back – in which he revealed that he has said no to moving across town to Real Madrid.
“I didn’t listen to them very much,” the 22-year-old said about Real’s interest. “I was a hundred percent with my club, and also I had just renewed.
“My agent informed me Madrid were interested, but I told him I couldn’t go, because Atletico is my club.
“And if I’m being honest, I couldn’t ever see myself in a Real shirt.”
But having been part of ‘Rojiblancos’ since the age of 11, and signing a new deal that has set his release clause at €80 million, Hernandez didn’t rule out going to a different club, sparking reports in England that he has received a “dizzying offer” to join Manchester United.
“I hope to be at Atletico for a long time, but you know, football moves very quickly. If an irresistible offer arrived...” he said.