We'll get Pogba: Jose

Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the ball against Everton's Gareth Barry in Wayne Rooney's testimonial on Wednesday. Manager Jose Mourinho describes the newly joined Swede as a "super striker", and anticipates the arrival of one more very "g
Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the ball against Everton's Gareth Barry in Wayne Rooney's testimonial on Wednesday. Manager Jose Mourinho describes the newly joined Swede as a "super striker", and anticipates the arrival of one more very "good midfield player", thought to be Juventus' Paul Pogba.PHOTO: REUTERS

United boss sure of signing Juve man but chides rival managers for criticising the fee

LONDON • Jose Mourinho has expressed confidence that Manchester United will sign Paul Pogba in time for the English Premier League football season and criticised rival managers' reactions to the mooted world-record transfer.

United and Juventus are believed to be putting the finishing touches to a deal for the France midfielder expected to exceed £100 million (S$176 million).

Mourinho, speaking before United's Community Shield clash with Leicester at Wembley tomorrow, described other managers, such as Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp and Arsenal's Arsene Wenger, as "unethical" for talking openly about the Pogba fee and questioning the player's colossal price tag.

Whatever the validity of their claims, Pogba's arrival at Old Trafford appears imminent and Mourinho is hopeful that his squad will be complete in time for United's trip to Bournemouth on Aug 14.

"Yes, we have 22 players and we are going to have 23," the Portuguese manager said yesterday when asked if a signing was close.

"Paul Pogba is a Juventus player until he isn't, officially, so we stay like this. The market closes on Aug 31, but I think my club is trying to do everything to close our market before the 14th.

IT WILL HAPPEN SOON

Paul Pogba is a Juventus player until he isn't, officially, so we stay like this.

JOSE MOURINHO, who is hopeful the France international will arrive within the next week for a fee set to exceed £100 million.

"Normally, next week, we will have our squad closed."

Wenger described the potential Pogba fee as "completely crazy", while Klopp said he wanted no part in such an inflated transfer market - comments that clearly did not sit well with United's manager.

"I only speak about us," said Mourinho. "I heard already two of my colleagues from other clubs speaking about us. I do not like that. It is not ethical.

"Our market was good. We decided to bring four players, not 10 - that are Man United level...

"I am happy with my squad. I am happy with the effort of the club. The others, it is their problem."

With those signings - Eric Bailly, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic - already in and Pogba set to arrive soon, certain players will find themselves surplus to requirements under Mourinho.

One of those is thought to be veteran Bastian Schweinsteiger, with reports suggesting Mourinho has banished the Germany star to train with the reserves.

"It is the same as in every club in the world," said Mourinho, when asked about Schweinsteiger. "The manager decides his squad and chooses a certain number of players to face the season. That is it."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 06, 2016, with the headline 'We'll get Pogba: Jose'. Print Edition | Subscribe