Five Transfers José Mourinho Has Hijacked Right Under An Opponent’s Nose

Five Transfers José Mourinho Has Hijacked Right Under An Opponent’s Nose
Jul 12, 2017

Featured Manchester United

Manchester United manager José Mourinho is considered as one of the greatest managers in the game by fans and experts alike. His ability to extract results, even in the toughest of circumstances, has been hailed by one and all.

“The Special One” enjoys a stellar reputation for being a winner throughout his career which was evident during his managerial tenure over the years at clubs like Porto, Inter Milan, and Chelsea. The 54-year-old has extended this aggressive winning streak off the field even in the case of the transfer market and has in many instances even snatched a transfer target from the clutches of a rival club.

This has created an air of invincibility around Mourinho with other clubs left shivering at the prospect of facing off in a transfer battle. Romelu Lukaku was the latest addition fending off competition from English giants Chelsea, shrewdly negotiating a contract with the Belgian under the garb of pursuing Real Madrid striker Álvaro Morata, leaving everyone baffled.

Here are such players who have been purchased on the sly by the United boss:

Willian – Anzhi Makhachkala (£30 million)

José Mourinho managed to earn the ire of neighbouring London-based club Tottenham Hotspur when he purchased the Brazilian for a sum of £30 million. Tottenham attempted to steal a march by flying him to London for contract negotiations and a medical later on.

It seemed like Willian was all set to join Spurs as a direct replacement for Gareth Bale on the wing, which would have served as a statement of intent from the London-based club. However, Mourinho managed to make a mockery out of both Liverpool and Tottenham by offering Willian a lucrative deal which convinced him to shift his loyalties at the last minute. Willian has proven to be a top signing for Chelsea since, much to the dismay of their neighbours.

John Obi Mikel – Chelsea (£16m)

John Obi Mikel was considered one of the top youth talents in Europe as a youngster which earned him concrete interest from top European clubs like Manchester United. The Red Devils were all set to sign the youngster up on a 4-year contract for a paltry sum of £4 million after offering him a youth contract. Mikel was unveiled in a hastily arranged press conference by Sir Alex Ferguson with the transfer seemingly done and dusted.

At this stage, Chelsea made a dramatic entry claiming that a deal had already been signed with Mikel which left the Devils stunned. Mikel further claimed that he had been forced into a move to Manchester United with Chelsea his preferred destination. The controversial transfer finally concluded with the Blues offering £4m to Lyn, and £12 million to fierce rivals Manchester United. Mikel left Chelsea after 10 and a half years with the player hailed as one of the top Chelsea recruits.

Romelu Lukaku – Manchester United (£75m)

Everton striker Romelu Lukaku was heavily linked with former club Chelsea after a number of sensational performances for the Toffees in the Premier League last season. Antonio Conte was reportedly looking forward to the addition of the Belgian striker and suspected he was excited by the prospect of a move to Chelsea.

Manchester United seemed to have given up the chase after media reports linked them heavily to Real Madrid striker Álvaro Morata. Real Madrid, on the other hand, were unwilling to let the striker go for anything less than a €80m sum which irked CEO Ed Woodward and Mourinho himself, turning their attention to Lukaku himself. Mourinho seemed to be fighting a losing battle with Chelsea reportedly having finalised a deal for the 24-year-old, however, with Mourinho at the helm, a surprise comeback can never be ruled out.

On 8th July, the BBC reported that Manchester United had signed a deal with Everton for the services of Romelu Lukaku for a reported fee of £75million which sent footballing fans around the world into a state of shock over this sudden development. Mourinho had shrewdly utilised the media to his advantage by distracting Chelsea from Lukaku who complacently shifted their attention to other targets.

Jose Mourinho was successful in scooping a prime target from right under Conte’s radar which proved that he was indeed one of the best in the business.

Mohammad Salah – Chelsea (£11m)

Mohamed Salah was hailed by one and all as one of the finest players to have emerged from Egypt. His pace, lethal accuracy and exciting gameplay generated loads of interest in acquiring his services with English club Liverpool considered the frontrunners for his signature.

To the dismay of the fans, Liverpool refused to cough up the sum demanded by Basel opting to negotiate till the very end instead. This encouraged José Mourinho to make a quick grab for his services especially after Salah’s spectacular performance in a European clash against Chelsea where he recorded his name on the scoresheet.

“It was a long and fair negotiation with Liverpool, but it lasted two-and-a-half months – too long,” said agent Sascha Empacher. “Both clubs could not agree on terms. When Chelsea contacted Basel, he was happy and took his chance. It was no financial matter.”

The Liverpool board had to bear a lot of flak for letting him slip whilst Mourinho walked out of a deal having emerged victorious as usual for a fee of £11m. 

Arjen Robben- Chelsea (£12m)

History has been witnessed to almost negligible instances where Sir Alex Ferguson found himself competing against a foe who was as strong intelligent and shrewd. José Mourinho was one such foe which even the legendary manager had to grudgingly accept.

Netherlands winger Robben had agreed terms with the Manchester United manager during a meeting with the transfer almost close to completion if not for a small niggle. PSV Eindhoven firmly rejected the £5m offer placed by the Red Devils.

Chelsea boss Mourinho, who enjoyed enviable financial backing from Russian billionaire owner Abramovich, wrapped up the deal by offering almost double the sum in comparison. Arjen Robben was a vital contributor for the Blues and represented another shrewd piece of business by Mourinho and Chelsea.


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