By Dave Marshall
We are set to re-ignite our pursuit of Fabinho, the 23-year-old defensive midfielder who currently plies his trade in the French Ligue 1 with AS Monaco.
Reports linking Ivorian right back, Serge Aurier to Old Trafford were quickly debunked by club sources, and Jose has now set his sights on signing Fabinho. Early in the transfer window, Manchester United had been linked to him but the fee was the stumbling block. However, Daily Star now suggest that Mourinho has told the club’s chiefs to get the deal over the line in the coming days.
According to Don Balon, the fee being mooted is around £40m given that Atletico Madrid had a £36m bid rejected for his signature.
Monaco has already lost the likes of Mendy, Bakayoko and Bernado Silva and it now looks as though Fabinho will be the next to leave Stade Louis II. Mourinho is looking for a right back to compete with Antonio Valencia on the right hand side of defence, as there will be many games and top-level competitions to choose from in the coming season.
Fabinho was a key component of Leonardo Jardim’s team last season, playing an almost unparalleled brand of attacking football, winning the Ligue 1 and reaching the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League. However, with the likes of PSG, Lyon and Marseille strengthening their ranks, this season may not be all smooth sailing for the principality club.
United had been linked to a host of players to help plug the holes in midfield and were linked to the likes of Radja Nainggolan, Eric Dier, Fabinho and Nemanja Matic, and despite signing Nemanja Matic from Chelsea, it would seem that Fabinho is now being monitored for the right back position, as current starter, Antonio Valencia is 31 and is on his last legs as a professional footballer.
Fabinho would be willing to make the move to Old Trafford as it is a big step up for him and his admiration of boss, Mourinho is a known factor. The Portuguese tactician gave him his debut at Real Madrid back in 2013 while in charge of Los Blancos.