Tuesday 21 May 2019

Manchester United are in trouble ahead of season, admits Jose Mourinho as he criticises the absent Anthony Martial

Jose Mourinho. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Jose Mourinho. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Luke Edwards

Manchester United’s pre-season preparations have been plunged into turmoil after a heavy defeat to Liverpool was followed by a gloomy transfer update from manager Jose Mourinho and the news that Nemanja Matic will miss the start of the season.

Mourinho, who criticised wantaway striker Anthony Martial for failing to return to the USA after the birth of his son in Paris last week, has admitted his side are “in trouble” with less than two weeks to go until the start of the Premier League campaign.

Even by his standards, this was a particularly bleak assessment from the Portuguese, who claimed he is not confident the club will make any more signings in this transfer window, repeating that he wanted two more players, but would be fortunate to get one.

He finished up by saying that if he was a supporter in the USA he would not waste his money going to watch the Premier League teams play this summer because so many of the top players have not linked up with their clubs.

“I have learned nothing from this game,” said Mourinho. “This is not my squad, half of my squad are missing and half of the players out there today will not be at the club after August 9.

“This is nothing to do with reinforcements, the reinforcement is Pogba, Fellaini, Lindelof, Marcos Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Matic, Antonio Valencia. These are reinforcements, this is not our team, not our squad. We played reasonably well with a lot of kids at the end, but when we run out of gasoline, it is goodbye.

“You ask me about players I would like to buy, to add to the squad. I would like to have two more players. I think I am not going to have two.

“I think it is possible I am going to have one, that is possible, and that one, I gave a list to my club, with five names a few months ago and I wait to see if it's possible to have one of these players.

“If it is possible, good, if it is not possible we keep fighting and working and believing in the players that we have.”

England defender Harry Maguire remains at the top of United’s wanted list, even though Leicester City do not want to sell, but Mourinho has other problems to occupy him as he waits for news on transfers from executive vice chairman Ed Woodward.

“Nemanja Matic is injured and of course he will miss the start of the season,” Mourinho added. “I don't know how long he is out for, he came from the World Cup with an injury and the time he had to rest in the holiday was not enough to resolve the problem.

“He went to Philadelphia for a top world specialist in relation to these kind of injuries and he didn't leave the clinic. He immediately had surgery so as not to lose more time.

“So no Matic. Antonio Valenica also has an injury. Antonio Valencia comes from holiday, I think too much holiday for him. His condition was not good when he was back. "

There was also further evidence that Mourinho’s relationship with Martial is being stretched to breaking point, as he declared the Frenchman should be on his way back to the USA in order to help the team in their final friendly game against Real Madrid.

Mourinho said: “He has the baby and after the baby is born - beautiful baby, full of health, thank god - he should be here and he is not here.

“We are not playing here to improve the team or the dynamic, we are playing here to just survive and have some not very ugly results.

“Alexis Sanchez is the only attacking player we have, he is the only one. We don't have wingers or strikers, he is the only one who is here and he is trying his best with the frustration of someone who wants more.”

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