A fortnight ago Manchester United were reported to be frontrunners for Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare.

Soumare has been billed as a Pogba successor, ESPN report, although he is more suited as a direct replacement for Nemanja Matic at this stage.

So far, so good. This was United identifying a highly rated young talent who could be available for a low price in January.

(Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)

Unwelcome twist

The path to signing Soumare appears to have got a litle more complicated, thanks to Jose Mourinho.

French website Jeunes Footeux report Mourinho is planning a double swoop on Lille now as Tottenham boss, with Soumare a target along with striker Victor Osimhen.

Tottenham are also targeting Lille sporting director Luis Campos, ESPN report, weeks on from the talent spotter saying he would be open to a post at Manchester United.

After a year of rumour and no action, it appears clear Ed Woodward has no intention of adding a director of football at Old Trafford.

If Spurs do manage to bring in Campos, it will be bad news for United’s push to acquire Soumare.

Mourinho’s Tottenham have also been linked with on-off United target Bruno Fernandes [Express].

(Photo by Federico Guerra Moran/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

United’s advantages

The pulling power of Paul Pogba should not be underestimated for Soumare.

 

The United star is revered in France and the chance to play alongside him has to be tempting, irrespective of what Tottenham can offer.

When it comes to wages, United can outgun Tottenham financially.

There is also a clearer path to first team football in midfield at United than Tottenham, where Eric Dier for instance is around seventh choice, such is the competition

At every club Mourinho has been at, he has treated the transfer market like a game, to get one over on his rivals.

He did so famously at Chelsea, hijacking Tottenham’s move for Willian, and at United he revelled in beating City to sign Alexis Sanchez, a move which clearly backfired.

It is likely he will enjoy the challenge of competing with United for players and should have some similar ideas.

If we can’t sign Soumare then we will simply look elsewhere, but it would be unfortunate to miss out on him to a Premier League rival.

Have something to tell us about this article?