Jose Mourinho has identified West Ham forward Marko Arnautovic as the man to galvanise Manchester United’s attacking ranks and lead the Red Devils into the top four of the Premier League.
United have struggled for consistency at both ends of the pitch this season, with Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace at Old Trafford the latest example of Mourinho’s side’s struggles to compete at the top.
With the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez failing to hit top form this term, Mourinho has apparently lined up a £50m January move for West Ham star Arnautovic to fire United up the table, according to the Mirror.
Austrian forward Arnautovic was linked with a move to Old Trafford during the summer transfer window, though United ultimately did not firm up their interest with a formal offer to West Ham.
The 29-year-old has subsequently gone on to star for the east London side under Manuel Pellegrini, providing the Hammers with a sharp and consistent focal point in attack.
It is said that Mourinho now sees Arnautovic as capable of revitalising a United front line which has gone stale of late, with the Portuguese seeking to boost United’s hopes of reaching the all-important Champions League places.
Lukaku and Sanchez have scored just five league goals between them in United’s first 13 domestic outings this term, with United’s senior attackers generally failing to live up to the club’s heavy investment in their recruitment.
Arnautovic, meanwhile, has scored five goals of his own for a West Ham side which he has carried in attacking terms this season, and has become a real star at the London Stadium.
Manchester United have created fewer chances this season than Mark Hughes's Southampton.— Daniel Storey (@danielstorey85) November 24, 2018
He's far from the only issue, but that is still an absolutely damning indictment of Jose Mourinho's management.
Arnautovic’s current manager Manuel Pellegrini, however, has recently addressed the striker’s future with West Ham, insisting that the attacker was ‘happy’ at the London Stadium.
As quoted by the Mirror, Pellegrini said of Arnautovic: “He is a West Ham player because he has a contract here, he is happy here.
“Every player always wants to play in the biggest team but I don’t think that Marko is thinking about that. He is thinking about West Ham and he tries to make his best performance in every game.”