Jose Mourinho’s penchant for a target man has been exceptionally clear during his time at Manchester United. The Portuguese already had Maroaune Fellaini to select prior to his arrival, but one of his first signings was to bring in Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the Swedish legend left Paris Saint Germain. The 36-year old confounded expectations with a highly productive debut season in English football, notching 28 goals in 46 matches before leaving for LA Galaxy earlier this year. Romelu Lukaku has had a similarly successful start to life at United, delivering 27 goals in 51 games last season, with Fellaini frequently brought into the frame to help control the ball as a last-gasp resort.
Of course, with the continued uncertainty surrounding the former Everton midfielder’s future, Mourinho will likely be shorn of one of his preferred target men come the start of next season. But it appears as if a change from this less-than successful tactic is unlikely, given this latest rumour from The Teleraph. Their report suggest that Mourinho was on hand to watch the Austrian national side tangle with Russia on Wednesday night and run the rule over West Ham United’s Marko Arnautovic.
The former Stoke City forward’s size would certainly fit the bill, given his 6ft 4in, but the price and the player’s age would almost certainly put the club’s powerbrokers off. West Ham are asking for £50m for the 29-year old, which hardly screams value, even after his 11 goals last season. With Manuel Pellegrini installed as manager of the London club, that exorbitant fee has likely been used as a deterrent from potential suitors with the club not wanting to lose their star asset.
Arnautovic is by no means a bad player, but United fans are allowed to feel somewhat alarmed at the suggestion that Mourinho sees him as a potential fix for the team’s issues up front, and could realistically expect someone with a little more quality for a sum of that size.