Romelu Lukaku has leapt to the defence of Jose Mourinho by telling any Manchester United team-mates who are upset with the manager to ‘deal with it’.
Paul Pogba had a number of problems with Mourinho over the summer, while Eric Bailly has made his displeasure known after falling out of favour.
Alexis Sanchez’s future remains uncertain, too, but Lukaku urged any disgruntled players to act their age as United bid to narrow a seven-point gap between themselves and the top four at home to Crystal Palace.
‘I think (Mourinho) has a good relationship with the players,’ Lukaku told Bleacher Report. ‘If he has an argument with somebody, I mean, deal with it, man. You’re a grown-a** man, deal with it.
‘I don’t really pay attention to what his relationship is with the other players, to be honest. I don’t think it’s something that should affect me.’
Midfielder Pogba’s frosty relationship with Mourinho has thawed somewhat after a move did not materialise before the August transfer deadline, although tensions could resurface as January approaches.
The United manager wants a new central defender and that is likely to be the only business the club do in the winter transfer window. Mourinho was exasperated at United’s failure to land any of his defensive targets in the summer.
United are sending a scout to watch Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic in action at Bologna on Sunday.
The 6ft 5in centre half, who can also play at right back, has long been on a list of potential targets and was watched by Mourinho in October while playing for Serbia against Montenegro.
Milenkovic is under contract until 2022 and Fiorentina president Pantaleo Corvino values him at around £50million.
The 21-year-old’s wages are relatively small, however, at around £12,000 a week. Milenkovic, a friend of Serbia team-mate and United midfielder Nemanja Matic, is aware of the interest from Old Trafford.
United are considering a number of other options but recognise January is a difficult time to land their prime targets.
Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly has been watched while Harry Maguire at Leicester City remains of interest, although escalating prices and the importance placed on both players at their clubs would make deals difficult mid-season.