1 Nicolas Gaitan in action for Benfica Manchester United’s faint hopes of landing Nicolas Gaitan appear to be over, with Atletico Madrid closing in on the Benfica star.United have seen numerous attempts to sign the Argentine international fall through over the past few years but had hoped to make one more attempt to sign hm this summer.However, according to A Bola, Atletico are poised to trigger Gaitan’s £35m release clause and have already held meetings with the 28-year-old’s representatives.Atleti are hoping to seal the deal before Gaitan begins international duty at the Copa America this summer, with offers from Dubai and China also on the table for the winger.
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So, it’s set to be all change at Old Trafford this summer as Jose Mourinho plots a return to the glory days. But what are his key priorities?Manchester United’s problems this season have been simply not scoring enough goals and being defensively weak, meaning they are having to rely on goalkeeper David de Gea to get them out of trouble.There are five key areas in which they must strengthen during the summer transfer window. They need a solid, reliable centre-back, an out-and-out winger, a defensive midfielder, a reliable right-back and a target man to partner Anthony Martial.Click the arrow above, right, to see who Mourinho should go for… 6 6 Five players Jose Mourinho should sign this summer – fans’ view – Click the arrows to see who Jose Mourinho should sign this summer Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Paris Saint-Germain striker – Ibrahimovics contract with PSG expired at the end of the season, and he has declined the offer of an extension. He has already worked with Jose Mourinho at Inter and is said to have a good relationship with him, and there are widespread reports this is already a done deal. And it would be a huge signing for United. He would be an excellent partner to Anthony Martial, helping the youngster with his experience and operating as a genuine target man, allowing the French ace to run in behind opposition defences. Ibrahimovic has nothing to prove, of course and although he would command huge wages, there would be no transfer fee to pay. And his happy knack of winning titles at every club he has played for would come in handy, too! 6 John Stones – Everton centre back – Jose Mourinho tried to sign the 21-year-old when he was at Chelsea, but Everton refused to accept a £30million bid for the highly-rated youngster. Stones would be a good partner for Chris Smalling having already had success alongside him for England. There have been question marks about his progress under Roberto Martinez this season, however, when he has had a tendency to make mistakes. You would suspect Mourinho would soon knock that out of him, though, but it would likely cost around £40m to persuade the Toffees to cash in. Kyle Walker – Tottenham Hotspur right back – Walker has had a great season for Spurs this year and he would provide pace and strength on the right flank. What he lacks defensively, he makes up for with his high work-rate and attacking threat. There are definite question marks about that area of the pitch for United, with Matteo Darmian regularly struggling with injury, and Antonio Valencia not fully convincing the doubters he is capable of performing in that position at the top level. The stumbling blocks to this deal are whether Mourinho feels the England man is defensively strong enough, with the Portuguese sure to build from the back, and whether Spurs, so long a selling club, would consider letting one of their prize assets go to a probable title rival. N’golo Kante – Leicester City midfielder – Kante has gone from playing in the second tier of French football to winning the Premier League title with Leicester. He was named on the shortlist for the PFA Player of the Year award, along with team-mates Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez. Kante would be a huge signing for United and Mourinho as they lack class and work rate in this area of the pitch, with Michael Carrick and Bastian Schweinsteiger both well into their 30s. Kante offers youth, is in the prime of his career and with a £20million release clause in his contract, he will be a very attractive prospect for a number of potential suitors this summer. 6 6 Neymar Jr – Barcelona forward – Neymar is regarded as one of the best wingers in world football at the moment, if not the best. Mourinho was in charge of Real Madrid when Barcelona signed the Brazilian, so will have seen plenty of him up close. This would be a huge signing for Manchester United (and weve been here before, of course), as it would see a top class out-and-out winger join and allow them to play Anthony Martial up front in his best position. Neymar brings pace, high-class finishing, quick footwork and a tremendous work rate. The downside? He would cost around £80million. 6