5 players Jose Mourinho could be straight on the phone to sign when he becomes Manchester United manager


Manchester United appear to be closing in on securing Jose Mourinho as their new manager following Louis van Gaal's departure on Monday.

The playing staff at the club is expected to undergo some significant revamping this summer - and here we look at five candidates who would appear to fit the bill as potential new signings for Mourinho at United.

1. John Stones

John Stones

Mourinho is widely perceived as not having much trust in young players, but the Portuguese certainly seemed interested in Stones last summer when still in charge at Chelsea, with the London club having a string of bids for the 21-year-old Everton centre-back rejected. A somewhat shaky season has followed for Stones, but it is clear the England man has the potential to be a major star, and a partnership with international colleague Chris Smalling at the heart of United's backline could work very well for the long term.

2. Sergio Ramos

Sergio Ramos playing for Real Madrid

Ramos is someone who has played for Mourinho already, as part of his Real Madrid team, and along with experience offers everything he wants from a full-back - defensively reliability, a decent contribution in attack and general tenacity. The 30-year-old Spaniard was linked with United last summer and although he subsequently signed a new deal with Real, it is not out of the question that the switch could still happen.

3. Nemanja Matic

Nemanja Matic and Jose Mourinho shake hands

The 27-year-old Serbia midfielder was a vital player in Mourinho's Premier League title-winning Chelsea side of 2014-15 and, like Ramos, would add considerable solidity and bite to an area of the United team which has lacked that somewhat.

4. Karim Benzema

Karim Benzema and Jose Mourinho celebrate a Real Madrid win

United have some promising youngsters in attack but only managed to score 49 goals in the Premier League in 2015-16 and the addition of powerful, no-nonsense striker Benzema would appear a virtually guaranteed means of addressing the situation - certainly the 28-year-old France international's potent form for Real under Mourinho and since would suggest as much.

5. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic  is congratulated by Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho

United have seemingly been crying out for some personality on the field of late, and the maverick Ibrahimovic, who is being strongly linked with Old Trafford, would undoubtedly bring that. He is another frontman to have thrived under Mourinho - they had a season together at Inter Milan - and who boasts a goal record throughout his career most can only dream of. The Sweden international is now 34, but there is plenty of expectation he will have a positive impact on English football should he arrive this summer after leaving Paris St Germain.