Mourinho sends scouts to watch Reece Oxford for England under-19s

The young defender impressed in a handful of appearances for West Ham last season.

Mourinho sends scouts to watch Reece Oxford for England under-19s
Oxford warming up for an away match against Everton last season. (Photo: Arfa Griffiths/ West Ham United)

Manchester United have been linked with Reece Oxford as Jose Mourinho looks to strengthen his defensive ranks at Old Trafford.

The Reds have been strongly linked with the West Ham youngster in recent times, and speculation has resurfaced suggesting Mourinho is preparing a bid for the player.

Oxford to add to United’s strong young defence

According to previous reports, West Ham were already prepared for United to make an approach for the exciting youngster and were even ready to reject a £10 million offer for the 17-year-old.

Oxford, who made 12 appearances for West Ham in all competitions last season, has been identified as a key player for the future by Mourinho. The Portuguese has already added to his defensive ranks this summer with the signing of Eric Bailly from Villarreal, whilst he has also pinpointed academy products Tyrell Warren and Axel Tuanzebe – both defenders – as important figures for the future.

Oxford, pictured holding the trophy, captained West Ham to u21 Premier League cup success last season | Photo: Arfa Griffiths/ West Ham United
Oxford, pictured holding the trophy, captained West Ham to u21 Premier League cup success last season | Photo: Arfa Griffiths/ West Ham United

Versatile youngster set to be scouted

Although Mourinho has been keeping tabs on Oxford for some time, as Chelsea were also interested in the player when he was just 14 whilst the Portuguese was in charge, United scouts will watch the defender during England’s under-19s time in Germany later this week.

Given that Oxford can operate in both central defence and midfield, it may well be the player’s versatility which is particularly appealing to Mourinho. Eventually, he could be nurtured into the first team picture in a similar way to Kurt Zouma was at Chelsea in the 2014/15 campaign. He was deployed in central defence, defensive midfield and even at right-back under the Portuguese manager that season.

Oxford first grabbed the headlines after he starred in West Ham’s 2-0 away win against Arsenal on the opening day of last season, playing as a central midfielder. Oxford would become Mourinho’s fourth summer signing should he move to Old Trafford.