Paul Pogba skippers Manchester United on opening night

Ross Houston
August 11, 2018

"He had nine days of pre-season where no training, no football, absolutely nothing".

Summer signing Fred is expected to make his Manchester United debut on Friday but several other players are missing.

Chelsea shattered the world-record fee for a goalkeeper with an 80-million euro (US$92 million) swoop for Athletic Bilbao's Kepa Arrizabalaga on Wednesday to replace Belgian global Thibaut Courtois, who has joined European champion Real Madrid.

'I am not confident, ' Mourinho (below) said of United's chance of new signings yesterday morning.

Leicester manager Claude Puel must similarly decide whether to include Jamie Vardy and Harry Maguire.


'So I will have to focus on the players I have and in relation to these first couple of matches. Pressed on whether there would be incomings or outgoings at Old Trafford, Mourinho added: "The information I have is no".

According to Mundo Deportivo, the Catalan club is prepared to wait for the France International, but know they will need to offer a lot of money when they do eventually bid for him as there is no buyout clause in his contract.

"I'd prefer to look to the bench and to have them rather than to have 16-year-old boys without experience and without the power to be Premier Leagues players directly", said Mourinho. "We have a very good squad, with very good players and it is very hard to add players to that", he said.

"I have my players and I like my players, I like to work with my players", said Mourinho.

"One lie repeated 1,000 times is still a lie, but the perception of the people is that it's true but it's still a lie".


United's top brass want to follow City by "developing young talents instead of going for big-money older stars" that Mourinho prefers.

Paul Merson thinks Manchester United should sell Paul Pogba and buy Tottenham Hotspur's Mousa Dembele.

There were rumors of him returning to Juventus and joining Cristiano Ronaldo in Italy, but the biggest suitor has been Barcelona, who is looking to bolster its midfield despite bringing in Arturo Vidal, Arthur and Malcolm this summer.

As ESPN's Rob Dawson says: "Mourinho and Pogba's frosty relationship is a puzzle Manchester United must solve".


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