Jose Mourinho to use Ed Woodward meeting to demand Manchester United sign Alessio Romagnoli or Milan Skriniar

Mourinho is due to sit down with executive vice-chairman Woodward in London this week where he wants assurances they are not planning to sack him as manager.

And if he is given the backing he is looking for in his role, the United boss also wants them to show ultimate faith by allowing him to sign his targets in the January transfer window.

Mourinho was denied the signings he wanted over the summer when the club opted to shift strategy by only splashing out money on younger players with potential.

That flew in the face of the team planning the manager had made, and has left the 55-year-old believing his squad is not well enough equipped to challenge for the Premier League or in Europe.

He believes the club's stuttering start to the season has reinforced his point to the Old Trafford board, and is looking for them to realise their error by making funds available in January for new signings.

At the top of the list would be defenders – the position Mourinho pushed hard to improve with no success over the summer.

And two of the players he has been keeping tabs on closely are Milan Skriniar and Alessio Romagnoli, who are both plying their trade in Italy.

Valued around £40million, AC Milan's Romagnoli, 23, has long been regarded as a top class defender having come through the Italian youth age groups and then proven his class in Serie A.

And importantly he is also of an age which would still fit in with United's desire for long-term value for money.

The same can also be said for Skriniar, who has established himself at Inter Milan having been snapped up by them following one impressive season playing for Sampdoria.

The Slovakian has quickly emerged as one of the best defenders in Serie A, and Mourinho is convinced he has the physical attributes as well to shine in the Premier League.

He would also cost around £40m, but having taken on board what Woodward said about the age of his targets, Mourinho believes he has found two who fit the mould.

Now he wants his bosses to back him with the funds to bring in at least one of them in January to provide a quick fix to his problem area.

This season it has become apparent that the United boss does not have faith in Eric Bailly or Victor Lindelof to be the rocks in his defence.

Chris Smalling has been the most reliable and trusted of the defenders in the United squad this season, but the others have been exposed as not being good enough in the manager's eyes.

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