International football takes centre stage this month as the European Championship finals kick off. That hasn’t deterred José Mourinho from getting down to work though.
With many of the Premier League’s top names now firmly entrenched in their respective national sides’ camps, club business continues to be done in their absence.
The summer transfer market is now in full swing but aside from a couple of big-name signings, namely Granit Xhaka to Arsenal and Ilkay Gundogan to Manchester City, things have been reasonably quiet to date, most likely due to the looming Euros.
It was reported in the Mirror on Friday, however, that the pending tournament has not stopped Manchester United from making an audacious bid for Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny.
Tipped to inherit the captaincy following the departure of Mikel Arteta in the summer, the 30-year-old defender has emerged as one of the league’s most consistent defenders in recent seasons, something that United are in real need of.
As new United boss Jose Mourinho seeks to rebuild his squad, Koscielny has been reportedly marked as a possible key figure in that process. Arsenal fans need not fret just yet though as Arsene Wenger and the London club have also reportedly issues a hands-off warning to Mourinho and anyone else who might be interested in the defender.
The Frenchman is said to be happy at the Emirates and has no desire to leave, even for Manchester United, so it therefore seems that Mourinho may well have to look elsewhere for top defensive players to shore up a leaky United backline.
In football a hands-off warning means very little though as the right offer to both player and club can make the seemingly impossible a reality.
United are certainly in dire need of quality defenders and so will likely be willing to pay above and beyond the wildest expectations of the Arsenal board and should they table such a bid, you might well assume that all bets are off and Koscielny might be singing a new tune about a possible move north to Manchester.
For now, international football reigns and there will be very little movement on this possible transfer until the end of the month at least.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena