Jose bemoans lack of signings

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah being challenged by United's Demetri Mitchell, leading to a penalty which Sadio Mane converted for the opening goal in their ICC match at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday. The Reds defeated a depleted Red Devils sid
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah being challenged by United's Demetri Mitchell, leading to a penalty which Sadio Mane converted for the opening goal in their ICC match at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday. The Reds defeated a depleted Red Devils side 4-1.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Manager expects tough EPL start for United as club fail to deliver his desired five transfer targets

ANN ARBOR (United States) • Jose Mourinho has aired his frustration at Manchester United's summer transfer process as he revealed he expects only one more signing before the deadline and that Nemanja Matic will miss the start of the season with injury.

The United manager claimed he submitted a list of five transfer targets to his club in March, specifically to executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, but is still waiting for all to be signed, with 12 days remaining in the window.

Central defenders Harry Maguire and Yerry Mina have both been linked with moves to Old Trafford but Mourinho did not hold out hope of two additions before Aug 9.

"I think I am not going to get two. I think that it's possible I will have one," said the Portuguese, who has brought in midfielder Fred for £52.5 million (S$94 million) and defender Diogo Dalot (£19 million) so far.

He added United will be "in trouble" at the start of the Premier League season, given the number of World Cup absentees and injuries during pre-season.

The weakness of his current squad was exposed by Liverpool on Saturday when Jurgen Klopp's team dominated their International Champions Cup fixture and won 4-1 in front of more than 100,000 spectators in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

NOT REPRESENTATIVE

Reinforcements, you mean players that I would like to buy, that's another thing... This is not even half my squad, or 30 per cent of it. So don't look to this.

JOSE MOURINHO, United manager, on absentees and injuries.

"This is not our squad. Reinforcements, you mean players that I would like to buy, that's another thing, but this is not my squad. This is not even half my squad, or 30 per cent of it. So don't look to this.

"As an example, Eric Bailly was not going to play and when he saw that (Chris) Smalling was injured in the warm-up, he decided by himself that he didn't want another kid on the pitch. It was not fair on Alexis (Sanchez) and (Juan) Mata and (Ander) Herrera.

"We are just trying to play these matches the best we can, and I think the boys did very well until the gasoline went. When it went, it was goodbye. Liverpool had the majority of their players, and they rotated their players. (Mo) Salah played 45, then 45. We can't do it. Herrera 90 minutes, (Andreas) Pereira 90 minutes ... gasoline over. So what did this game give me? Nothing at all."

He revealed afterwards that Serbia player Matic had undergone surgery on an unspecified injury at the World Cup and will miss the start of the new campaign.

Things were more positive in the Reds' camp. Swiss forward Xherdan Shaqiri, a recent signing from Stoke, marked his debut with a brilliant bicycle kick that capped the scoring.

Klopp was thrilled with his contribution and said: "That's not normal after four days in the club, adapting that well to the style of play.

"We wanted to help him a little bit with the position so that it's not too complicated. We gave him a lot of freedom, offensively playing natural, plus offering runs in behind."

His Liverpool squad flew home immediately after the United game and will start a pre-season training camp in France from today.

New signing Alisson and fellow Brazilian Roberto Firmino will join the squad in Evian following their post-World Cup vacations.

THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 30, 2018, with the headline 'Jose bemoans lack of signings'. Print Edition | Subscribe