After a seven year absence from the top flight, Middlesbrough are planning for their return to the Premier League with a host of big name signings – and have Adnan Januzaj firmly in their sights as they aim to make their return a permanent one.
Following the signings of Victor Valdes, Viktor Fischer, and Antonio Barragan as well as the reported interest in former Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo and Borussia Dortmund defender Neven Subotic, Metro now claim the newly promoted side are waiting on an answer from Manchester United after placing their interest in the Belgian winger.
Boro boss Aitor Karanka is hoping Mourinho will see Januzaj as part of the deadwood he needs to clear out at Manchester United, and is hoping his relationship will Mourinho will see him head the queue should Mourinho decide to part company with the player.
The pair worked together during Mourinho’s spell in charge of Real Madrid and following Mourinho’s return to Chelsea and Karanka’s appointment as manager at Middlesbrough, Chelsea youngsters were sent on loan to Boro – most notably Patrick Bamford and Thomas Kalas, who both excelled under the Spaniard.
Januzaj burst onto the scene under former manager David Moyes but has failed to live up to his potential in recent seasons. Last season he was loaned out to Borussia Dortmund but failed to make an impression and returned midway through the season where he failed to break into Louis Van Gaal’s first team plans, and as a result missed out on a place with Belgium at Euro 2016.
Despite impressing in training Mourinho must now decide if the winger has a future at Old Trafford. Januzaj played 45 minutes against Wigan on Saturday as he aims to prove Mourinho he deserves to stay.
Januzaj must also decide if he can become a United regular, but with the competition for his position now made even harder with the arrival of Henrikh Mkhitaryan to the club, it seems Januzaj has a battle on his hands to save a Manchester United career, that once looked so promising.