MANCHESTER, England — Manchester United are set to make attempts to sign Chelsea midfielder Willian and Tottenham Hotspur defender Toby Alderweireld this summer, sources have told ESPN FC.
Jose Mourinho was keen to bring Willian, 29, to Old Trafford last year and, according to sources, the Brazil international was open to the move.
Chelsea, however, refused to sell and Mourinho was forced to turn his attention to Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic before finally bolstering his forward line with the arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal in January.
Since the Chile forward’s arrival, Mourinho has been adamant he will not look to sign another attacker before next season.
But doubts about the future of Anthony Martial, who is wanted by Juventus after finding first-team opportunities limited by increased competition from Sanchez, has led to United revisiting the possibility of signing Willian, a player held in high regard by Mourinho after their time together at Stamford Bridge.
United, though, must first convince Chelsea to sell and, after the backlash from fans following the sale of Nemanja Matic last summer, it is not a given.
Meanwhile, sources have told ESPN FC that Tottenham are resigned to losing Alderweireld this summer with the Belgium centre-back so far refusing to sign an extension to his contract.
Injury limited the 29-year-old to just 14 Premier League starts this season and with Tottenham ready to cash in, sources have told ESPN FC there is hope at United they can push though a deal.
Sources have told ESPN FC that Danny Rose, another player of interest to Mourinho, could also leave Tottenham this summer after falling behind Ben Davies in the pecking order.
Rose, from Doncaster, is keen to move back to the north of England and the 27-year-old is one of a number of left-backs being considered by Mourinho, alongside Alex Sandro at Juventus, Kieran Tierney at Celtic and Aaron Martin at Espanyol.
Sources have told ESPN FC that Mourinho’s priority this summer remains a central midfielder to replace Michael Carrick, who retired on Sunday.
Fred at Shakhtar Donetsk, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic at Lazio and Jean Michael Seri at Nice are all possibilities.
United could yet be forced to sign two midfielders before the start of next season if Marouane Fellaini decides his future lies away from Old Trafford.
Rob is ESPN FC’s Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.