The subject of Jose Mourinho’s mystery scouting mission to watch Serbia’s clash with Austria on Friday evening has finally been revealed.
The Manchester United manager was spotted looking sheepish in the crowd at the Ernst Happel Stadion last Friday night as Austria defeat Serbia in a World Cup qualifier.
Speculation suggested Mourinho was watching Southampton’s Dusan Tadic ahead of a possible January swoop, but that has been ruled out by sources close to the United manager, and as reported by the Daily Mirror.
Other theories suggested the United boss was watching Serbia midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, his team-mate Andrija Zivkovic or Austria defender David Alaba – but none of that trio were included in their respective country’s squads.
In fact, Mourinho was actually casting his eye over exciting Serbia winger Mijat Gacinovic, who at 22 years old has been identified as one of the most exciting young talents in the Bundesliga.
The winger has burst onto the international scene lately, scoring three times in his first two matches for his country, while his form for Eintracht Frankfurt has also led to rumours linking the player with Bayern Munich.
Mourinho was first alerted to the young winger’s potential by summer signing Nemanja Matic and has since sent scouts to make regular checks on the player; however, this was the first time Mourinho had actually been in attendance himself to watch the player.
Gacinovic can play on either wing, and is seen as an exciting attacking player who can take opponents on. The United boss was of course keen to sign a wide forward this summer, though efforts to land Ivan Perisic were blocked by Inter Milan.
United, meanwhile, aren’t the first Premier League club to cast their eyes Gacinovic: scouts from Arsenal were also present at the game and are also believed to have been alerted by the winger’s potential.