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Addressing Manchester United TV channel following a 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich on August 5, Jose Mourinho said his team would face a "tough season "unless you sign at least one player.
At the time, Mourinho, the boss of United, was convinced that a new central defender would be recruited.
This did not happen. Despite the late enthusiasm for the departure of Uruguayan Diego Godin, who was revealed later this week, the Mourinho team remained unchanged on July 4, when Lee Grant arrived from Stoke in as United goalkeeper of third choice.
Thirty-six hours before the start of the 2018-191 Premier League, United will host Leicester at Old Trafford on Friday night. He was asked if he had the "tools to compete" with Manchester City and Liverpool.
"I know the words you want me to say," he said. "I think that by the end of November, you will not need words, you will see which teams are candidates to win the Premier League."
Why have not they signed anyone?
In short, they could not make the right agreement.
July during the club's pre-season tour in the United States revolved around several targets.
They went from Leicester, Leicester, Magyar, Yerry Mina (who later joined Everton), to Jerome Boateng. Godin.
United has money to make big deals. They were ready to do exactly that to get a better player. Executive Vice President Ed Woodward would not have flinched if he had been told 100 million pounds, a sum that would have broken the transfer fees for United's club record and the world record for a defenseman.
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Raphael Varane never was a topic of discussion during a long meeting between the great players of United and Real Madrid in Miami last month, because it was obvious that the winners of the Champions League would not have sold
moved beyond the plan phase because, not having to sell and making sure that England had four years of contract, Leicester was pushing up the price, up to Liverpool for Virgil van Dijk.
] For a man with no experience in the Champions League and still relatively new to the Premier League, United did not think that entering the market at this level was wise.
Godin's class is not involved either. The 32-year-old remains one of the best defenders in the world.
Encouraged to fetch the Uruguayan in the last days of the window, United discovered that they were used as a means of subcontracting a better contract with Godin. extension of Atletico Madrid, so another closed door.
Bayern Munich offered Jerome Boateng for around 40 million pounds. Mourinho was passionate about the former Manchester City man. United, after analyzing Boateng's terrible record of appearances – 33 games missed due to injuries and illness in two seasons – offered a loan. Boateng and Bayern were not impressed.
United was not impressed by the result of their negotiations on Mina, departing from what they saw as fees for prohibitive agents who, if they had accepted them, would have dangerous precedent for a player who is barely in the top category.
Speculation surrounding Toby Alderweireld's move from Tottenham continued for much of the summer.
United never made an offer for the 29-year-old Belgian.
As one club source said: "We ended up in a situation where we would have traded our fifth best defenseman for a fifth best central defender.
Under the circumstances, United concluded that there was no reason.
What is the history of Anthony Martial?
If anything sums up what seems to be a difference of opinion on short-term strategy at Manchester United, it is the treatment of Anthony Martial.
To States United States, less than 20 days ago, it became clear that Mourinho was ready to let Martial go.
The decision was based on the comments of Martial's agent, Philippe Lamboley, who, in a television interview in June, had said "after considering all the factors and possibilities," his client.
In truth, the position suited Mourinho, who concluded a long time ago that Martial, who is still two years old at most on his contract, disappears at great moments.
Obviously, this view is shared by nobody Trafford.
The only conversation between Woodward and Tottenham President Daniel Levy this summer was about the availability of Martial and Juan Mata. In both cases, we said no to Levy.
As the transfer window entered its last week, rumors ran that Martial could be sold to finance the move of Inter Milan Ivan Perisic. .
Sources at Old Trafford insisted that Martial not be sold. So, it has been proven.
Since Manchester United does not have a football director, it is not entirely clear who makes the football decisions that contradict Mourinho
no obligation for the manager chose him, which is exactly what happened on the weekend when the Frenchman stayed in Manchester for a double training session rather than going to Munich for the last friendly meeting.
his absence? Martial returns to France for the birth of his daughter who ends his US tour a week earlier
"There is no history," said Mourinho. "He had three pre-season days, then he had nine days where he had no training and no football, absolutely nothing [about it] If you do that, you have to start over with the others."
] Where does this leave Mourinho?
If the assessment of the "difficult season" of Mourinho is taken literally, the Portuguese are heading for turbulent months.
the players that he wanted.
Mourinho gave young people a chance at Old Trafford, but he also believes that if Manchester City's dominance is to be questioned, it must be the work of a core of experienced players and of high quality. , who tend to be around 29 years old and have low resale value.
People signing checks tend to look longer. Paul Pogba, for example, was bought at a whopping 89 million pounds and was followed by a huge amount of social media, or 5.62 million on Twitter alone. In the modern game, such things matter.
So, whether Mourinho wants it or not – and there is no evidence that he did – Pogba would not have been sold this summer, despite the French suggestions to leave Old Trafford for the second time. ]
United must also take into account the volatility of the markets in the valuation of their transfer transactions.
The transfer of 200 million pounds of Neymar from Barcelona to Paris St-Germain, 12 months ago, could be ruled out as an exception. But this created a driving effect that led Barcelona to sign respectively Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho for £ 135.5m and £ 142m.
Sir Alex Ferguson was ridiculed for stating that there was "no value in the market". think seriously before adopting a position to "pay what you need".
In the end, Mourinho has the same team that finished second last season, not to mention Michael Carrick. Fred and his teenage rear-back Diogo Dalot.
In addition, to his great satisfaction but to the chagrin of several United fans, Mourinho also Marouane Fellaini, who ended months of speculation by signing a two-year contract at the end of the month of June. Will it be enough to close a gap of 19 points over Manchester City and, at the same time, repel the anticipated threat of a Liverpool resurrection?
Mourinho says that by the end of November, we will know
If Manchester United does not belong to it, no one would be surprised if officials started to prepare a plan of succession.
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