Jose Mourinho drops hint to Man United board about quality signings

The Man United manager challenges the Red Devils board to secure top signings to close the gap between themselves and Europe's elite

Transfer Agent
By Transfer Agent
Man United manager Jose Mourinho Photo: Uefa handout

Jose Mourinho has challenged the Manchester United board to make quality signings to ensure the club can challenge Juventus and other top European clubs.

The Red Devils were humbled on Tuesday night after the 20-time English champions suffered a 1-0 loss to the Serie A title holders in the Champions League at Old Trafford.

Paulo Dybala scored a first-half winner after Chris Smalling’s attempted clearance fell to the Argentina international, who produced a clinical finish past David De Gea.

Manchester United have already conceded 23 times in 13 games in all competitions this term to raise questions about the lack of quality in Mourinho’s defence.

The Red Devils were linked with Tottenham Hotspur’s contract rebel Toby Alderweireld and Leicester City’s World Cup star Harry Maguire in the 2018 summer transfer window.

However, the 20-time English champions didn’t get a deal for a new centre-half over the line to leave Mourinho short on top-class options at the back.

Their defensive deficiencies were exposed by Juventus on Tuesday night, while Italian duo Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini produced a masterful display in the heart of Massimiliano Allegri’s defence.

Asked about what Manchester United can do to get to Juve’s level, Mourinho told his post-match media conference at Old Trafford on Tuesday night:

“Juventus is champions for seven years, I think seven years in a row, two Champions League finals in the last four or five years and not happy with what they have, they want more, they want more,” Mourinho said.

“They had Higuain, Mandzukic, Dybala, they want more. They want Ronaldo. They had Barzagli, Chiellini, Rugani, they are not happy, they want more, they want Bonucci. And they go for the best players in the world.

“So big, big club with a big past but with also a big desire to have a big future and everything they put there to try to win, I don’t say the Champions League, I think to win the treble, that’s what they want. Because normally they win at home. But the treble until now, unfortunately for these fellows on the other side, is our [Internazionale’s] treble, yet I think they are really close to it.

Quizzed about how to get to Juve’s level, Mourinho added: “To go to the Juventus level? Barcelona level? Real Madrid level? How can you reach that level? Manchester City level? How can you reach this level?

“Yes [with the best players]. Is not also easy. Because many of the players they belong to these top teams, so we work with what we have we try to improve with what we have.”

Manchester United are in tenth place in the Premier League table following a 2-2 draw with third-placed Chelsea FC at Stamford Bridge last weekend.

The Red Devils will be looking to return to winning ways against Everton at Old Trafford in their next Premier League fixture on Sunday afternoon.

Mourinho was pleased with the performance of Victor Lindelof, while the Portuguese head coach pointed out Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Romelu Lukaku are continuing to get vital Champions League experience.

“Is the first time Victor plays a game of this dimension, Victor had a positive game, Luke Shaw Champions League at this level of match, so good experience for some of the boys, Rashford, Martial, Lukaku, I think is second season he plays Champions League too,” Mourinho continued.

“So we work, we work hard, we try to improve our players but quality is quality.”

Manchester United will take on Everton and Bournemouth in their next two Premier League games before their return fixture at Juventus in early November.

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