Belfast Telegraph

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho staying cool despite Woodward's struggle for more quality

 

By Simon Peach

Manchester United are still two signings short this summer, but Jose Mourinho is confident executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has the situation under control.

After making four acquisitions in his first summer at the Old Trafford helm, the plan was to make a further four top-quality additions ahead of the 2017-18 season.

So far, defender Victor Lindelof has arrived from Benfica, with Everton striker Romelu Lukaku snared in a deal worth an initial £75m.

However, progress on the final two signings has been slow, with Mourinho even saying in recent days that one acquisition would now be enough.

Woodward joined up with United's American pre-season tour having stayed back to work on deals that the United manager is confident the executive vice-chairman has a grip on.

"I don't know," he said when asked if any progress had been made on transfers. "Ed is in control. He did Lindelof and Lukaku, he knows that I would like two more players but he also knows that I have balance.

"I understand the situation, I understand the market and if we are not able to do two players and do just one, I will accept that as a consequence of the market.

"Our relationship is good and I just wait for good news - and he knows that for me good news is to have the players, or in this case maybe just the player as soon as possible because to work together with the team is really, really important.

"But I'm calm. I like my players, I like my squad, I trust them, so I'm calm and that's important."

Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic has been targeted this summer, while there is interest in Chelsea defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic and Tottenham's Eric Dier.

"I'm happy with my squad, but I would like to have two more players," Mourinho said ahead of the International Champions Cup match against Barcelona in Washington. "One player would be a midfield player that gives me more options, more balance.

"Another one, an attacking player, especially that can play through the wings, gives me more attacking options. But I never speak about players that belong to other teams. That's not ethical, that's not correct."

Mourinho has, though, in recent months admitted there are certain players that he would have kept at United. The Portuguese says he would never have sold Angel di Maria, Danny Welbeck or Javier Hernandez, saying the latter was the kind of "killer" striker United would have loved last season.

Two years after Louis van Gaal allowed the Mexico international to leave Old Trafford for Bayer Leverkusen, he is back in the Premier League and could be lining up against United for West Ham on the opening day.

Asked if he was tempted to bring Hernandez back, Mourinho said: "No, because he left the club a few years ago. I am not sure that it was his decision or the manager's decision.

"But he's a good player, he's a player that will always score goals, so he is a player I would always welcome in my squad because he doesn't need many minutes on the pitch to score a goal.

"But we moved in another direction and a younger player in Lukaku. We have (Marcus) Rashford that can be also a striker, so we didn't feel that need.

"But no doubt that for West Ham to get a player with his experience and his quality is very, very good."

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