Tuesday 23 January 2018

Paul Pogba to Manchester United: Jose Mourinho sets deadline for £100million target

United manager sets one month target to secure record signing

Jose Mourinho is chasing the signature of Juventus and France star Paul Pogba. Picture Credit: REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
Jose Mourinho is chasing the signature of Juventus and France star Paul Pogba. Picture Credit: REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

James Ducker

Jose Mourinho does not want Manchester United's pursuit of Paul Pogba to drag on beyond the Community Shield against Leicester City at Wembley on August 7, effectively giving the club a month to try to wrap up a world record €100m-plus deal for Juventus' France midfielder.

The United manager has made it clear, publicly and privately, that he has no intention of allowing the club to be backed into a corner on a frantic transfer deadline day scramble, a scenario that happened in each of the past three summers under his predecessors, Louis van Gaal and David Moyes.

Read More: Man Utd close in on €120m man Paul Pogba but there is one stumbling block

Having already completed deals for striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan and defender Eric Bailly, Mourinho has now set his sights on bringing Pogba back to Old Trafford four years after the Frenchman's acrimonious departure for Juventus.

If a deal cannot be agreed for Pogba within a reasonable time-frame, Mourinho will switch attention to his back-up plan, with the Portuguese eager to bring in a midfielder as soon as possible

Mourinho has appointed six trusted lieutenants to his backroom staff, with assistant manager Rui Faria joined by coaches Silvino Louro, Ricardo Formosinho, Carlos Lalin and Emilio Alvarez and analyst Giovanni Cerra.

Manchester United's manager Jose Mourinho
Manchester United's manager Jose Mourinho

The former Chelsea manager took charge of his first pre-season training session yesterday and expects United's players to grasp his demands quickly.

"My principles are quite objective and I understand that, for the players, it will not be a drama for them to understand and to try to give me what I want," he said.

United's first nine matches of the Premier League season were set to be moved from Saturday 3pm last night following the selection of the first round of televised fixtures.

Read More: Mourinho says England trio will travel with Reds to China 

Sky Sports and BT Sport were condemned by United fans yesterday after they picked the club's opening six league games for broadcast for the second successive season.

The decision was compounded by United's maiden Europa League group stage campaign, which will force their seventh match against Stoke on October 1 to be moved to a Sunday. Their following two games at Liverpool and Chelsea are almost certain to be televised, meaning they may not play at 3pm on a Saturday until hosting Burnley on October 29.

United are still pondering whether to enter a team made up mostly of U-21 players into the EFL Trophy under new plans by the Football League to invite 15 Premier League sides plus Newcastle into the reformatted competition.

Irish Independent

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