Tuesday, 14 August, 2018

Jose Mourinho 'not confident' of deadline day signings

John Aldridge: After winning the transfer war, Liverpool can now dream of Premier League glory Tottenham make history by completing no summer signings
Lora Ball | 10 August, 2018, 13:31

United's boss, about to begin his third season at the helm at Old Trafford, has cut a disgruntled figure during the summer, apparently unhappy with the club's transfer window activity.

Liverpool have invested heavily over the summer as they look to pose a challenge to last season's runaway champions, Manchester City, but the same can't be said for United. Ivan Perisic, the Croatia global, also featured prominently on Mourinho's wish list but it now seems that United's summer transfer business will be restricted to the arrivals of Fred, the injured Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant, signed from Stoke City as a third-choice goalkeeper.

"The information I have is no", Mourinho said at his pre-match press conference when asked if he expected any new arrivals on Thursday.

"I am still expecting them to be very strong this season, and I actually think that, along with Liverpool, they will be a lot closer to Manchester City this time".

"My view is that, first of all, it is hard for me to believe we finished second because when I listen, when I read - not much but sometimes I do - you [the media] are capable of making people that finish second look like they were relegated, and people who win nothing, finish below us, you make them look like serial winners".

The former United man was keen to point out that Liverpool will be a challenge to reigning Champions City, but that having a "free week" due to lack of European football would be hugely beneficial to the Merseyside club's quest for a domestic title.

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Asked if he is keen to play in the game, Henderson replied: "Yes, but at the same time I understand the lads have been back a lot longer than me and they have had minutes on the pitch".

"We believe a lot in our players and there's no point now to say, why not repeat a similar season like past year or the season before, and with more experience". I don't think just because they haven't signed a centre-back we should be sat here thinking "We'll let Manchester United off the hook, they shouldn't be challenging this year".

It adds up to an exciting team and by getting their major transfer business done early, Klopp has had time to integrate his new signings into the squad over the course of the pre-season tour of America.

Sergio Romero, Valencia, Marcos Rojo, Dalot, Ander Herrera and Matic are all injured for Leicester's visit, while Mourinho needs to check on the fitness of those that returned late from the World Cup. "They trained Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and today, so you can imagine they are not really fit and ready".

"If they feel they can help us [against Leicester] - 20 minutes, 10 minutes, half an hour".

"But I keep saying and thinking and feeling that the second last season was one of my biggest achievements in the game".

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