So confident are The Sunday People’s feted future predictors that Jose Mourinho will be installed as Manchester United boss this summer that they’ve stopped reporting on the prospect of it happening, choosing instead to draw up the Portuguese’s Old Trafford transfer wish list.
Top of it is Napoli goal machine Gonzalo Higuain, whom it seems not a year can pass in which he won’t be linked with the Premier League.
With 32 strikes making this season the Argentine’s most prolific in what has been a ridiculously productive career, the admiration England’s heaviest hitters allegedly have for him is easy to understand, but if Mourinho is going to get the United job, signing Higuain will be nowhere near his number one priority.
The pair worked together for three seasons at Real Madrid, yet the Partenopei poacher was never able to nail down a starting spot. Instead he was made to alternate line-leading duties with Karim Benzema, with the Frenchman typically preferred for the more high-profile matches.
For instance, during the 2011/12 edition of La Liga – Mourinho’s most successful in Spain – the only times Higuain started ahead of Benzema was when the Frenchman was either unavailable or required a rest.
Having utilised the 28-year-old in such a fashion throughout his prime years, it’s unlikely the former Chelsea chief would consider his reported valuation of £70m a worthwhile investment at this point of his career.
While Higuain’s finishing prowess is as good as any, he lacks the work ethic required of the archetypal Mourinho target man. He isn’t the type of attacker who’d be harrying opposing defenders for lost causes down the channels, like Diego Costa does, for example.
But above all else, the one underlining factor that rules out the prospect of a Mourinho-led United signing the Argentina striker is the fact that the coveted coach almost never signs from Serie A.
The infamous Andriy Shevchenko finger-burning escapade at Chelsea in 2006/07 is the only instance where a team schooled by the Portuguese has imported from Italy and that went spectacularly wrong.
Even when in charge of Inter Milan, Mourinho bought just three first-team players from the kingdom of calcio.
With reputation restoration top of the agenda in his next role, there’s no way he’ll blow such a significant chunk in his transfer budget on a Higuain, a striker for whom circumstance could’ve played as big a role as ability behind his recent goal returns.