Back in August, The Guardian reported that Manchester United had launched a €25 million (£22.5 million) move for Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin.
What went down?
United apparently made the move believing that it would trigger Godin’s release clause with the Spanish club. However, the veteran centre-back ultimately opted to stick with Madrid, and promptly signed a new contract with the Spanish outfit, as reported by The Sun.
Despite having clearly been after a new centre-back throughout the summer transfer window, then-Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was unable to bring one to Old Trafford.
On 18th December, the Red Devils sacked the Portuguese coach, with the club in sixth place in the Premier League and 19 points behind leaders Liverpool.
What might have been?
United’s woeful defensive record contributed to the demise of Mourinho’s reign. The club’s solidity at the back had previously been the foundation of Mourinho’s success, but towards the end of his time in charge at Old Trafford his back line disintegrated.
The fact he was so desperate to sign a centre-back in the summer suggests he saw this coming. Moreover, had Godin been brought to the club it could perhaps have been avoided.
The 32-year-old defender is a renowned leader. His experience and authority could have brought some discipline to United’s rearguard, who might all have upped their games due to the 125-cap Uruguay international’s influence.
For better or worse, the successful signing of Godin in the summer might have ensured that Mourinho was still in charge at United now.