Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Jerome Boateng rejects Manchester United move

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Cary Erickson | 09 August, 2018, 13:56

United look set to go through the full transfer window without signing a centre-half, in spite of Mourinho's well-documented desire to add a high-profile central defender to his ranks.

The Red Devils had been linked with moves for Toby Alderweireld, Harry Maguire and Jerome Boateng before a surprise candidate emerged in the form of Chelsea's Kurt Zouma late on Wednesday night.

'My view is that first of all is hard for me to believe we finished second when I listen, when I read, not much but sometimes I do, is hard to believe that we finished second because you are capable of making people that finish second look like they were relegated, ' Mourinho said during today's press conference.

"I'm not confident", Mourinho said, when asked whether there would be more players arriving before the deadline.

United have so far signed three players this summer - Brazil midfielder Fred for £47m, Portuguese defender Diogo Dalot and third-choice goalkeeper Lee Grant.

His side face Leicester City in their opening fixture at Old Trafford on Friday and it was put to Mourinho that there was a perception the club had gone backwards over the summer.

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"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".

The Portuguese believes runners-up are often portrayed as if they have been relegated and those who finish below them are presented as "serial winners".

On the eve of the new season, which starts with United's clash against Leicester, Mourinho also claimed that finishing second last season, 19 points behind champions Manchester City, was "one of the greatest achievements" of his career.

Marcus Rashford, Victor Lindelof and Romelu Lukaku returned early and should be available.

"But, if the reports in the papers are true and whether it's him or his agent or a bit of both, Sir Alex Ferguson would have just said, "see you later". I was told that during pre-season it looked like I was saying something absolutely out of order, something insane.