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Sports Features Tue, 24 May 2016

Andre Ayew among five Africans Mourinho could sign

Manchester United appeared to finally pull the plug on Louis van Gaal's troubled stay at Old Trafford on Monday, with Saturday's FA Cup final victory not enough to save the Dutchman's flagging tenure.

Reports in the media on Monday suggest that former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho will be installed as LVG's replacement as he looks to turn the Red Devils' fortunes around.

The Portuguese coach has a long history of recruiting African players, and here are some of the continent's stars that he could look to return United to their former lustre.

Andre Ayew:

Reports in the Ghanaian media during the final week of van Gaal's tenure suggested that the Red Devils were keeping tabs on Dede, while Swansea City confirmed to over the weekend that various sides are interested in the attacker.

Ayew moved to the Wales on a free transfer during the summer, and while they won't be keen to lose one of their key assets, the chance to make a major profit may appeal. Ayew could inject dynamism, invention and a goal threat into the Red Devils' lethargic forward line.

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang:

The Gabon international has long been tipped for a move away from Borussia Dortmund, following his immense goal haul in the Bundesliga this season. The 26-year-old ended the year with 36 goals in 45 games for BVB, with both Liverpool and Arsenal linked to his services.

However, could Mourinho tempt the hitman to Old Trafford? Memphis Depay has failed to convince, while Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford are still learning their trade at the top level. Auba, who can also feature on the right flank, would offer an immediate offensive threat.

Odion Ighalo:

While Aubameyang might take some time to acclimatise to the Premier League, Odion Ighalo is a proven quality in the top flight. The Nigerian hit 15 goals in 37 games, having previously struck 20 goals in the Championship, prompting reported interest in his services from United earlier this year. Ighalo, at 26, arguably has his best years ahead of him, but would United be dissuaded by his recent goal drought?

Victor Wanyama:

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With Michael Carrick and Bastian Schweinsteiger ageing, and with no genuine defensively-minded operator in the heart of the park, this is an area the new United boss may want to address immediately.

Mourinho previously sought to bring the likes of Claude Makelele and the more tenacious, driving Michael Essien to Chelsea, and could Southampton's Wanyama fill a similar brief? A reunion with his old Southampton teammate Morgan Schneiderlin could give United the midfield control they've been lacking in recent seasons.

Sadio Mane: During the final days of LVG's tenure, Mane was one of the key names bring heavily linked to Old Trafford ahead of the summer transfer window.

A mooted fee of £25 million may feel hefty for an attacker who wasn't always a starter for Southampton this season, but 11 goals and six assists this term could make him a valuable contributor.

His versatility and explosiveness will surely appeal to Mourinho, who would likely relish the prospect of working with a talent who can play both creator and finisher.

Source: Goal.com