In what must go down as impressive first season for Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford. Having won the EFL Cup and the prospect of adding a Europa League title – it is fair to say the foundations for the next phase of success at Manchester United is well and truly underway. The self proclaimed ‘Special One’ is by no means there yet, but a successful summer transfer window could see the whole process fast-tracked – as he looks to add a genuine solid spine throughout the side.
Mourinho has historically based his success on a strong central core and one that provides solidarity and defensive cover throughout. Jose is one of those who believe that if you don’t concede you don’t lose games and subsequently the array of attacking talent would nick the victories. Having built a similar structure at Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid, the Portuguese coach will be looking for such a complement to his attacking talent like Ibrahimovic, Martial, Mata, Rashford and Mkhitaryan.
Reports in today’s papers suggest that Eric Dier is the first of a number of transfer targets that Manchester United are looking at this summer. The versatile Tottenham star who can operate at centre back, right back or the anchor man in midfield has been identified as a natural successor for the aging Michael Carrick who is out of contract at the end of the season.
The England international has endured a tough season at White Hart Lane, with Victor Wanayama taking his place in midfield, alongside Mousa Dembele – instead playing across the defensive backline in numerous positions. Whilst Dier has played pretty much in every game for Tottenham this season, he has failed to replicate the form that catapulted him into the England team and the Euros in the summer. The North London will face a tough dilemma as to whether they would accept the reported £40m that United are prepared to offer for his services.
It remains to be seen whether Dier – a self-confessed United fan – and who identified Roy Keane as his idol would reject the opportunity to join his boyhood club at this stage of his career. Joining Mourinho’s charges will see Dier return to his favoured role in the midfield and potentially become the mainstay and play a pivotal role as Jose looks to restore United to the level of success of Sir Alex Ferguson brought to Old Trafford. Dier would certainly represent the perfect fit and arguably at £40m deal that Tottenham – who are busy paying for their new stadium – would find hard to resist.