Manchester United Transfer News: Joao Miranda, Mauro Icardi Rumours Emerge

James DudkoFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2016

Inter Milan's Brazilian defender Joao Miranda celebrates after scoring a goal during the Italian Serie A football match between Inter Milan and Sampdoria at San Siro Stadium in Milan on Febrauary 20, 2016. / AFP / GIUSEPPE CACACE        (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho reportedly wants to sign Inter Milan players Joao Miranda and striker Mauro Icardi if he's named Manchester United manager this summer.

Mourinho was at Inter's recent 3-1 Serie A win over Sampdoria and was said to be impressed by the pair, per Italian source Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Metro's George Bellshaw). The reports claim Mourinho and United wouldn't be put off by the hefty fees needed to sign both players:

It’s perhaps no surprise that he’s encouraged to sign the duo as they both found the back of the net.

United would have to pay more than £30million to land Icardi while Inter would hope to recoup the majority of the £9.2m they forked out on Miranda last summer.

But with United’s financial might, Mourinho will hope to persuade both players to move to Old Trafford.

Reports of Mourinho moving to Old Trafford to succeed current manager Louis van Gaal have gathered pace since the ex-Chelsea gaffer's recent trip to Italy.

Mourinho continues to be linked with the United job.
Mourinho continues to be linked with the United job.GIUSEPPE CACACE/Getty Images

Inter director Bedy Moratti, sister of one-time club president Massimo Moratti, appeared to confirm Mourinho's next job to reporters, according to Sky Sports' Paul Vinnell: "He's missed as a person, but right now he's happy, he's going to Manchester."

In the context of these comments, as well as Mourinho's attendance at the San Siro, reports of links between Mourinho and Inter players may seem a little convenient. Yet, both Miranda and Icardi make sense as United targets.

On Friday, Italian source La Stampa (h/t Metro writer Bellshaw) reported Mourinho's trip to Milan was a scouting mission.

Any potential United manager will know how much the current squad needs a commanding centre-back and a prolific striker. The Red Devils have scored just 33 times in England's top flight this season, per the league's official site.

An over-reliance on 30-year-old Wayne Rooney, who is far from the player he was, remains a problem. That's where a natural finisher like Icardi can make a difference. There's a coolness about the Argentinian No. 9 whenever he gets a chance.

Style doesn't define Miranda, but he's the smart and aggressive defender every top Premier League club needs. The combative Brazilian won a Spanish league title with Atletico Madrid and remains a force in the air.

United have missed a player of that type since Nemanja Vidic left the club, even though Chris Smalling has developed well. But Smalling's progress can't mask the fragility in United's defence this season.

Mourinho has always built his teams on a rugged and miserly foundation at the back. Partnering Smalling with Miranda would be an excellent start to constructing the right base at United.

United need Miranda's intelligence and intensity at the back.
United need Miranda's intelligence and intensity at the back.Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

Of course, any transfer rumours regarding Mourinho have to be considered shaky until the ex-Chelsea chief actually signs on the dotted line to officially become United's next manager.

But if that happens, he'll struggle to find more suitable players to start his Old Trafford rebuild than Miranda and Icardi.