Jose Mourinho may still be hoping to sign Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld and his chances of doing so will have been done no harm whatsoever by reports that two of his alternative targets are becoming desperately keen to move to Old Trafford instead.

Sky Sports News have reported that both Harry Maguire and Jerome Boateng — the latter contrary to reports — have made it clear that they want to move to United before Thursday’s deadline. It puts Mourinho in a strong position; Maguire is said to be his second choice, and Leicester’s transfer activity seems to have executed with the exit of their World Cup star in mind.

Reports earlier this week suggested that after initial conversations, Boateng had made a personal telephone call to Mourinho to thank him for his interest but he wished to remain at Bayern Munich. However Sky Sports News have reported that this is indeed not the case, and that the former Manchester City man was telling the United boss that he was keen to return to the Premier League.

Alderweireld remains United’s number one target and Spurs are keen to sell; they did impose a condition on any move, saying they must be allowed to source a replacement first. However, this news may well prompt Daniel Levy into action to ensure negotiations for the defender are concluded quickly, and avoid losing him for a much lower fee next year.