On first glance, Jose Mourinho to Tottenham Hotspur doesn’t seem like a match made in heaven given their opposing approaches to the transfer market. Last summer, Daniel Levy didn’t sanction any signings and in the window just gone, despite Spurs reaching the Champions League final, they were still outspent by the likes of Everton, Leicester and Aston Villa.
The former Chelsea and Manchester United manager likes to invest heavily in the and bring in players who suit his style as soon as possible, rather than relying on moulding what he’s already got. United’s refusal to help him build on his second placed finish in his final full season saw his relationship with the owners nosedive and lead to his eventual dismissal.
If Levy is to make huge funds available to Mourinho, with their aim surely to finish in the top four this season, it will be a kick in the teeth to Mauricio Pochettino to see that his success of last season wasn’t permitted to be enhanced with a proper budget.
United are looking to shift Nemanja Matic in January, so Mourinho might be looking to bring in a player he has so often trusted and relied upon. It would cost them next to nothing too, given the player wants out and is on the wrong side of 30.
But if Mourinho wants to buy in January, he will almost certainly have to sell first, so which three players should United be looking at?
United had been linked with a move for the Dane before his move to Spurs but missed the boat. The 27-year-old has been fantastic for Pochettino but looked as though he was ready to leave in the summer. In his role as a pundit for Sky Sports last month, Mourinho claimed if he was in charge, Eriksen would have been sold, as he doesn’t “like to keep players that don’t want to stay at the club”.
Levy will be keen to recoup a fee for the attacking midfielder and United could do with players to support their forwards. They could sign him on the cheap, which would be perfect for Ed Woodward, while also likely being willing to meet his salary demands.
Last season, Eriksen became just the second player in Premier League history, after David Beckham, to tot up 10+ assists in four consecutive seasons, so would be a huge asset to Solskjaer as he looks to increase the number of goals his side scores.
Harry Winks has the look of a lad who got to judges houses on X Factor but got the chop after his slowed down version of Taylor Swift's Shake it Off didn't quite resonate with Nicole Sherzinger.
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) November 17, 2019
The young midfielder doesn’t fit the profile of what Mourinho would usually go for with Eric Dier, a player the manager tried to sign for United last year, and Tanguy Ndombele far more suited to his normal approach.
Winks was a regular for Pochettino last season but has struggled to leave his mark on Spurs this season, as they’ve tumbled down the table.
United’s midfield is a real problem area and Solskjaer would likely relish the opportunity to work with the young up-and-coming Winks.
The least likely of the three, given how well he performs for Spurs, but the 27-year-old may be tempted with a move away if he is given the idea he will have a more restricted role to play under Mourinho.
Son signed a new deal with Spurs last summer but is still only earning £140,000-a-week, which is less than the likes of Juan Mata and Luke Shaw at United. Son doesn’t come across as a player only in it for the money, but if the enjoyment is taken away by Mourinho’s style of play, he may be tempted to move.
While Harry Kane would be the ideal signing, there’s next to no chance of Mourinho allowing the England striker to leave. Son’s form and popularity among the fans may mean a transfer, in January at least, would be tricky. Lucas Moura may well be the attacking player Mourinho has the least concern over losing though.